The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Nearly 2 Tons of Ivory Crushed Today in New York City's Central Park
Nearly two tons of ivory was destroyed by a rock crusher in New York City's Central Park on Thursday, marking the state's efforts to stop the illegal ivory trade.
The statues, trinkets and jewelry represented the tusks of at least 100 slaughtered elephants and held a reported market value of more than $8 million dollars.
"These crushes raise awareness," John Calvelli, a spokesman for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which runs the city's zoos, told New York Daily News. "Crushing the ivory shows that the ivory has no value, so people can stop killing the elephants."
The New York Daily News noted that there are only 400,000 African elephants left in the wild. If poaching continues at the same rate, experts predict that the species will be extinct by 2025.
The artifacts destroyed today was confiscated as a result of New York's 2014 ivory ban law.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which helped pass the state's ivory ban and helped organize the crush with WCS and the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the event demonstrates a commitment to ending the global poaching crisis.
While the stockpile may be worth a lot of money, there are several important reasons to destroy these objects, as the NRDC pointed out.
"Doing so helps reduce speculation (the existence of stockpiles drives up speculation) and clearly signals to poachers and traffickers that the U.S. will not reopen its ivory market, thereby reducing their incentive to kill elephants," the group said. "It's also a security issue since stockpiles serve as targets for thieves, with a 2010 TRAFFIC report suggesting that almost one-third of stockpiles have been subject to theft."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.
By Emily Moran
If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."
By Catherine Davidson
Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.
Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.