|Table of Contents|
Front Matter 1
Front Matter 2
Appendix 1. Terms of reference
Appendix 2. Evidence of the Abyssinian ivory raiders into Mongalla and Bahr-el-Ghazal provinces 1916-1917, from Yardley (1931) and Nalder (1936)
Appendix 3. Monetary conversions
Appendix 4. Annual catches of sperm whales
Appendix 6. On manpower in parks
Appendix 7. Somali poaching in Kenya
Appendix 8. Project accounts
Back Cover 1
Back Cover 2
THE IVORY TRADE
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u m e
Disc u ss
s c u s s
i o n s
VOLUME 3 (1) DISCUSSION
In the preceding volumes the world trade has been rudely
quantified and the tables in Volume 4 are a base for further
refinement. Some idea albeit hazy has been gained ofthe
investment in ivory. Despite its vagueness it is quite clear
that the value of both raw and worked elephant tusks about the
world is of the order of billions of dollars. The role of ivory
as a currency i.e. as a medium of exchange has not been
defined in exact terms. It was not possible to even consider
the textiles and comestibles which it paid for across Zambia's
or Mozambique's borders; neither was it prudent to try and find
out how many rounds of .762 ammunition may have been bartered
for ivory by UNITA guerillas. Through false accounting and
documentation, twice as much ivory has left the continent as
appear on African records. Considerable capital transfers out
of Africa were made by under-invoicing ivory so that part payment
remains overseas. Through such devices the continent loses more
than half the value of its ivory production. The component links
in the economic chain of the ivory trade have been described
sufficiently to give broad understanding of its structure.
Biological evidence from tusks traded has been examined and, while
it gave more idea of what could be done with the type of material
coming forward, it also does not support some of the contentions
made previously particularly on the average size of tusk and
the number of elephants involved in the trade. Other than at a
local level, the allegation that the ivory trade has brought
about widespread elephant declines is not substantiated.
In fear that the African elephant was on the brink of
extinction, conservationists in a number of countries agitated
for remedial measures -of which this survey is one. The most
extreme expression of their sentiment is illustrated in the Bill
- HR 10083 which was presented to the 1st session of the 95th
Congress of the U.S. House of Representatives. As it encompasses
many issues which are germaine to the evolution of future policy
and as it synthesises points which are widely but incorrectly
believed, it is worth examining.
Bill HR 10083 was introduced by Congressman A. Beilenson
in the process of which he stated :
"elephants... are now severely threatened with extinction"
"more than one hundred thousand elephants are slaughtered
"the deliberate slaughter of elephants for their valuable
ivory tusks is the greatest present threat to Africa's
"Hong Kong...imported 710 tons of ivory taken from 71,000
elephants in 1976"
All these assertions are untrue. He also stated that
"as long as the elephant herds flourish, tourists, for
whom the elephant herds are a prime attraction, will
continue to supply a substantial flow of foreign currency
to the developing African nations where the benefits may
be felt more widely by the poor as well as the rich"
This was naive. The bulk of elephants are inaccessible to
tourists. Most African countries with elephants (e.g. Chad,
Central African Empire, Congo, Cameroun, Gabon, Zaire, Zambia)
have negligible tourism. Those with greater volume Kenya
and Tanzania are at best, only able to 'present' a very small
fraction of their elephants to tourists. The benefits of tourism
seldom touch the rural peasant directly and, most important,
tourists are fickle and unownable.
Beilenson claimed that
"the decreasing size of the tusks being exported from
Africa is an early warning sign that the species is.
diminishing faster than it can sustain itself"
This is not generally true and only applies locally. One could
continue to comb through the pronouncement and bring out yet
further mis-statements of fact. To do so however would be to
miss the underlying principles which HR 10083 violates: And to
miss these would be to miss the same points as were overlooked
earlier in the century when a different group of white men
endeavoured to impose their will upon Africa.
Conservation is a dear cause to many in America and Europe,
yet for all the passion its disciples obviously feel, its progress
and implementation cannot come about outside the scope of our
political principles. Democracy is a belief by which the United
States claims to abide. Within democracy, leadership is elected.
At this fundamental level let us look to HR 10083 and its
background once more.
The elephants of the world live in Africa or Asia and are
- de facto resources which belong to sundry African and Asian
peoples. They have a sovereign right to use or not to use their
resources according to their particular requirements. Where
Africa is concerned the resource is distributed across
7,000,000 km2 and as a standing crop of ivory alone the 1.3
million elephants are worth $984,874,280 (5.09 kg per tusk
x $74.42). Yet the intent of the Bill and the hope of its
supporters was to render this enormous asset (and by African
economies it is enormous) valueless. The goal strains credulity
on two counts. The first is the act of imagination called for
in believing Africa should accept that its near billion dollar
renewable resource be devalued to zero. The second is how so
large and widespread a resource can really be regarded as on the
verge of extinction.
The international leadership the Bill is supposed to provide
has not been approved or even asked for by the ivory resource's
owners. This negation of a democratic approach was magnified by
Beilenson's inference that African Governments did not have
wildlife management programmes (to which he was not opposed!) and
that they were currently "in haste to make a quick profit".
It was just this arrogant 'we know what is best for you'
approach and blindness to the facts of the situation which ensured
that the earlier game laws failed.
The concerns for elephants which find expression in HR 10083
are understandable, given the general ignorance which prevailed
at the time of its inception. The inaccuracies in the statements
of, for example, Glieber, Merchant, Murphy, Newman and van Note,
before the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee of the U.S.
House of Representatives, December 13, 1977, can be corrected.
The present position vis-a-vis elephant can be regarded a little
Before proceeding further it must be clear that I speak of
Africa's needs and capacities as an observer and not a
representative. The great default in this report is its absence
of representative African opinion and outlook.
The first necessity is to regain some sense of proportion
and unscramble distinctions between the calls of conservation
and the material potentials of elephants as a natural resource.
International concern is clearly over the prospect of elephant
extinction. To approach this matter from its most basic aspect
I pose the question how many elephants are necessary for the
survival of the species? From the example of the Addo elephants
in South Africa which are said to have increased from c.20 in
1954 to 90 in 1977 (Douglas-Hamilton 1977) we know that
recoveries can be made from very low levels. In extreme terms
Africa's elephants could be reduced to 20 and still recover to
far greater numbers. In view of this and the current abundance of
elephants, the question of how many are necessary for survival
is somewhat semantic. It can be replaced by how many are wanted?
In as far-as national priorities permit international influence,
the answer may well be an area in which the world at large wishes
to have say. Fundamentally however each nation having elephants
must make its own decision. Until this is done the logistics
of conserving cannot be adequately catered for. Not only is it
impossible to plan conservation programmes without this type of
information, but it is equally difficult to gauge success or
failure. Currently we see the use of terms such as 'endangered',
'threatened', 'vulnerable' and 'safe' (IUCN Elephant Survey
Provisional Estimates 1978) but what do they mean? They are
really only of use when applied to the status of animals in
conjunction with what is wanted of them.
At a somewhat involuntary level decisions have been made
on how many elephants Africans want through the creation of
national parks. According to the provisional estimates in 1978
of IUCN Elephant Survey, elephant occur in more than 60 parks
across Africa which encompass 261,871 km (over 100,000 square
miles) and hold more than 175,000 elephants (perhaps 5 times
the number of bison that are in the U.S.A.). Is this number
adequate to ensure the survival of the species? I believe that
it is providing that the parks are adequately staffed and the
elephants managed, should this be necessary. Indeed it would
be continued waste of time and effort to deploy inadequate
conservation forces widely over the whole resource until parks
are running as planned.
The presence of elephants outside parks is obviously of
interest from many points of view; not least of which is their
economic potential. If there is a rule which should govern
their use it would be for the greatest good of the greatest
number of people. However the greatest good will always be a
subjective measure. It will be the prerogative of the elephants'
owners to make such decisions, which could vary from 'cashing
them in' over the short term to raise capital for development,
to keeping them going for as long as possible. However, these
outside 'resource' elephant are those that are constantly giving
way to expanding man. They will continue to do so until
Africans attain stable populations. This is of no consequence
to the survival of the species providing the national parks
become truly effective.
It has been alleged that the ivory trade has undermined
law-enforcement within national parks, and that since the rise
in prices illegal hunting pressures have become irresistible.
If this is the case we could expect a general rise in ivory
poaching in all countries. This is not the case. No wholesale
or commercial slaughter has been reported from Malawi. The same
is true of Botswana, though CITES focused attention on it and
there has been use of its permits. Somalia, from whence the most
vigorous of Kenya's poachers come has, paradoxically, little
illicit hunting as apparent from the lack of exports on the
international market. In contrast the most severe illegal
hunting has occurred in Kenya and Uganda in which corruption and
disregard for commercial law was widespread. In both instances
the illegalities were general and involved ivory incidentally.
Smuggling of cloves, coffee, wheat, livestock and many other
commodities was general. Indeed the most conspicuous illicit
ivory buyers in Eastern Africa 'switched horses' in mid-stream,
going out of ivory and into illegal coffee. The role of the
ivory trade was thus not a primary, isolated stimulus to
corruption, but more that of a scavenger, taking advantage of
a general disrespect for law.
The illegal trade is also subject to ivory's perennial
difficulty that of transport. Only where there are well
developed transport infrastructures is it possible to move ivory
en masse. This is one of the aspects which permitted such
wholesale slaughter in Kenya and Uganda they have better road
systems than almost any other country north of the Zambezi. It
is this aspect of a well developed national park which renders
it more vulnerable to large-scale ivory extraction. The
wilderness, of its own is a barrier to mechanised exploitation.
Its penetration and intersection by a system of roads 'to enforce
the law', will render it that much more vulnerable in the event
of a regression in adherence to law.
Illegal ivory hunting on the scale witnessed in Kenya and
Uganda was primarily the product of a general disrespect for
law. Secondarily the high price of ivory has been a magnet,
attracting many people to poach. The high price, in turn, is
not the consequence of 'frivolous' desires, but the product of
general economic instability in just the same manner as the flight
of the price of gold. Blaming the ivory trade for all that has
happened is in truth a frivolous view of a complicated chain of
events which no politician has understood let alone mastered!
If someone had, there would be fewer spectres of gloom and a
decline in the use of tranquillisers among the world's captains
All the foregoing notwithstanding, I am committed to make
recommendations for the regulation of the trade to lessen
adverse effects that it may have upon elephant survival.
Total prohibition of the ivory trade would not be regulation
of trade but its destruction. However it has been proposed
and must be considered. The proposers are a group of U.S.
citizens who have based some of their belief upon a number of
errors. These notwithstanding, if their aim was against the
U.S. trade only, it would be an issue of their concern alone.
However, as their object is international in intent, namely to
devalue the ivory assets of Africa, it warrants comment. The
salient features of the issue are that African Governments have
made no request to the citizens of the U.S.A. for assistance in
devaluing the asset. Only one ivory producer of consequence -
and it is of past not present consequence Kenya, has supported
a ban. Another, Liberia, which is of no ivory consequence at
all, also supported the ban. All others who have responded to the
U.S. proposal have opposed it (Hallagan 1979). In these
circumstances further attempts to ban all trade in ivory would
constitute unwarranted meddling in the affairs of other nations
and is insupportable.
A prohibition of the trade would deprive more than 30,000
workers and dependants of their livelihood. As the volume of
ivory involved in the trade does not appear excessive, relative
to the number of elephants extant, there is no moral justification
for depriving them of their way of life. On this ground too, I
find the proposal to ban trade in ivory insupportable.
A third and practical ground for rejecting a ban on trade
as a viable solution to poaching, concerns the volume and value
of that already owned. For a ban to be effective people would
have to be dispossessed of it and this would call for impossible
compensation. If retention of ivory already owned was permitted,
there would be no way to differentiate it from new. An
artificial constriction of supply would drive the value of that
already owned yet higher. In turn this would raise, not lower,
the incentive to poach. There would be a Beilenson effect of
yet greater proportions. Further, in view of the evidence now
available, it is extremely unlikely that many nations would
follow the lead of the U.S.A. On such practical grounds the
proposal for a ban is unlikely to work. If it is attempted I
foresee a repeat of an earlier American prohibition at which
the world stood back and marvelled! Then too, of more recent
example is gold which the U.S. attempted to demonetise and
failed. The flight to gold, ivory and the like is precisely
because history has shown that these are the hardest things to
demonetise. A ban in the U.S.A. would hurt a number of traders
and artisans, but would not devalue the commodity internationally.
The main point overall is that a ban is unnecessary.
Throughout my contacts with the trade, I endeavoured to
determine whether it had the will to regulate itself. This
report is the strongest evidence that such a will exists. If
it didn't, I would never have been given access to the records and
stocks that I was. That the recommendation of one set of traders
was -sufficient to obtain the goodwill and trust of others in
different countries is evidence that there is a basis for
co-operation between them. Currently, however, there is no
international institution for ivory traders. There is also a
conservative suspicion between groups e.g. as between Hong Kong
and Japan. However, this was at a peak when I was in Hong Kong,
for as CITES made its impositions there, it gave differential
advantage to Japan, which was able to continue purchasing without
permits. While it would take some organisation to establish an
international ivory traders' association, I am in no doubt that
such a body could be brought into being and that it would be
joined by bona fide traders from all ivory trading nations of
consequence. It would serve a useful function and provide a
channel for communication with producers, law enforcement
agencies and conservation people as well as see to the interests
of the traders themselves.
As a group the traders were reluctant to surrender
independence (an attitude I cordially share) and would obviously
prefer to continue as they have done in the past. This in no
way meant that they were callous to the future of elephants.
While they were obviously not as emotionally riven as those who
have made conservation their business or hobby, they exhibited
a deep interest in all matters pertaining to the foundations of
their trade. All accepted that stability in the business would
be of benefit not only to elephants, but to themselves. However
how such stability could be brought about was an issue over which
most were rather pessimistic. The general feeling was that there
was no substitute whatsoever for integrity and sound law-
enforcement in Africa. Permits and licences were all very well
as supports to well-administered law, but they were not ends in
themselves. They were only as good as the man who issued them
and, as a generalisation, it was said that if you produce money
in most parts of Africa, you can get permits.
The greatest hesitation over any enthusiastic acceptance of
CITES and permits was the knowledge that while a majority might
accept them and endeavour to abide by them, the effort would be
jeopardised by a minority who used the situation to competitive
advantage. That such a minority exists I have no doubt at all.
It does in any aspect of human enterprise.
A second base for suspicion concerns conservationists. The
attitude is very understandable, for with little factual base
the trade has been slandered from pillar to post. Firms of
honourable men merchants and artisans have been deeply offended
by sweeping assertions such as those which equate them with
criminals in the international drug scene. What is ironic
is that few conservationists have ever tried to contact ivory
dealers most of whom are easy enough to find. Personal
evidence of this irony came when the IUCN 'Traffic' Group's
representative in Hong Kong one Michael Webster Esq the one
man who should have been able to introduce me to the iniquities
of Hong Kong's ivory trade, declined to meet me or give evidence
for this survey! It was the only refusal in a project which
encompassed several hundred contacts.
More serious than the gratuitous alienation of the trade
by slanderous and ill-informed press comment is apprehension over
IUCN. Perhaps this is best illustrated by a series of questions
which I heard during the survey :
What is IUCN ?
To whom is it accountable ?
How does it get its funds ?
If it is a public body where are its accounts published ?
How does IUCN recruit its staff ? If by public
advertisement, where ?
By what concessions and instruments do Governments ally
themselves to it ?
Is it subject to any public control ?
One can see the grounds for this attitude. On the one hand
IUCN has the prestige of a full UN body, on the other it seems
to function as a rather mysterious private organisation.
Obviously, there is need here for some explanation, if only to
establish a base for co-operation. There is no such apprehension
over the operation of CITES, for here opinion can be expressed
and policy influenced through one's Government.
A further grouse with some founding is that summed in the
question "What do zoologists know about business and enforcing
This incidentally, was not only heard from traders, but also
from customs officials, and civil servants in several countries.
The truth is that whereas 'pressure groups' may be a necessary
element in the law-making processes of some countries, as with
all do-gooders and those with causes to foist upon society they
are seldom popular. Righteousness is a bore to those who don't
share it! While zeal in their field of interest automatically
places zoologists in the van of conservation drives, it does not
necessarily equip them to cope with the administrative routines
or capacities to turn zeal into effective law or to obtain
co-operation from society at large. The little (very bushy) tree
of conservation too easily conceals the amorphous wood of human
affairs in which it belongs!
These points are precisely what might be expected in
circumstances where a free trade is suddenly overtaken by a
welter of red tape and bureaucracy. The scepticism expressed
by the traders contrasts strongly with the conservationists'
crusading zeal, yet this is natural.- Fron now on it is the
traders and law enforcers who have to put rules into effect and
modify their ways, while the crusaders sit back in the euphoria
of self-congratulation! The hard work is ahead, not behind, and
the discussion of problems shows that the issues are being taken
seriously. In the circumstances, had I been met with affirmations
of enthusiasm, claims that rules were just what was needed, I
would have been suspicious. Had I received complaint only, I
would have been pessimistic. However, the wholehearted
co-operation I received demonstrated that there was a will in
the trade to work toward sensible regulation of the ivory
business. It will take time and diplomacy to obtain results
from it and part of the process calls for the conservation groups
to look to their own eyes for motes.
CITES is, de facto, the organ upon which control of the
international trade in ivory devolves. It goes without saying
that if it is inefficiently administered it will fail. If it
can be demonstrated to Governments that the Convention is an
unreasonable hindrance to reasonable, legitimate trade without
being of conservation value, it will only be a matter of time
before it follows its precursor the 1933 Brussels Convention.
I would like to draw attention to two cases: one of a
failure in CITES and another of ineptitude. The first concerns
the U.S.A. and is documented in the Department of the Interior's
Fish and Wildlife Service circular FWS/WPO PRT 1-0 1978. Its
crucial sections read :
"As you may know, funding authorization for the Endangered
Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora expired on
September 30, 1978, and was not renewed by action of the
Congress and President until November 10, 1978. The
effect of this was that although the prohibition of the
Act remained in effect, we could not administer the
For five weeks the world's wealthiest nation was unable to
administer the CITES permits. Such bureaucratic interruptions
of international trade contain the seeds of failure. If this
sort of thing becomes a feature of the Convention, there will be
good cause for Governments to withdraw from it.
The second case concerns the CITES secretariat in Morge
Switzerland. Parties to the Convention submit annual reports on
their trade in listed animal and plant species. One of these
concerned the United Kingdom and was forwarded to me through the
IUCN African Elephant Survey. I was unable to determine whether
a set of figures pertaining to ivory referred to weights or
numbers of pieces. The Secretary General's reply relative to the
question was :
"The U.K. headings are, frankly, a mystery to me."
I was referred to U.K. sources for enlightenment but this is
not the point. What is of concern is the CITES Secretariat the
body which should be au fait with all pertaining to CITES -
circulated reports the contents of which it doesn't understand.
This is bureaucracy at its worst paper for paper's sake. I
hope that this is an isolated case, for to find such laxity so
early in the life of a bureaucratic institution gives no ground
for confidence in it achieving its objectives.
These two points bear on the need for CITES to be
administered with at least the same efficiency as the trade it
is set to regulate. With ivory in particular, the need for fast
responses is imperative. Deals worth hundreds of thousands or
millions of dollars cannot float in limbo at the mercy of a mal-
administered permit office. And it is not a question of
- well, that's tough for wealth of this order will bypass the
system if it has to. The administration of CITES should not,
of its own, become an inducement to circumvent the law.
During the survey only Hong Kong showed an awareness of
the need for its administration of CITES to keep pace with
business. Even there the situation was not ideal, though
applications for permits were processed in 4 days.
A final criticism of the functioning of CITES in relation to
ivory relates to the manner in which the trade is recorded.
Volume 4 of this report is eloquent testimony to the efficiency
of the international Customs and Excise system of recording
imports and exports in ivory. Now that the EEC countries no
longer record ivory imports as a specific item, CITES must take
up this role to at least the same efficiency if not greater.
With special permit and licensing sections established to
administer the convention there is no reason at all why far
greater efficiency should not be achieved. This has not yet
Some reconstruction is now in order. The hall-mark of
efficiency is simplicity: the more simple permit systems are, the
easier to administer and the more difficult to adjust they become.
From observing some Indian traders, I learned to what confusing
use duplicates, triplicates and photostats can be put. This is
spectacularly successful when melded to several permit
applications for the same amount of ivory on the same day! Within
weeks of the commencement of treatment a permit issuing office can
be reduced to irreconcilable chaos. The message is keep it
simple an original for the applicant and a duplicate for the
issuer. No more.
The next step is keep it uniform. An international ivory
permit system calls for an internationally uniform document.
Currently permits come in so bewildering a variety that it is
difficult to tell the genuine from the bogus. The classic
illustration of this occurred in Hong Kong when the first permit
for ivory issued by the Sudan which was worded to conform to
CITES criteria resulted in the ivory being seized because the
document did.not resemble previous documents!
There must be uniformity in the manner in which documents
are handled. It is logical that the original of a permit for
international movement should move internationally. Thus Hong
Kong and many other countries do not want duplicates or
photocopies, but the genuine original to accompany incoming
ivory. The U.S.A. confounds this requirement by retaining the
original at the point of exit; from then on the ivory moves on
duplicates which are always easier to 'fudge'.
Permits for so valuable a commodity as ivory must be more
than a mere bit of paper. They must be a bit of paper which is
difficult to forge. The matter of producing permits which are
,security' documents has been discussed at length with Sir
Arthur Norman of London an authority on the subject and it
is confirmed that the production of such documents is practical.
For obvious reasons there is no call to go into the detail of
what can and should be incorporated in these permits in a
general report such as this. Suffice it they would contain an
element requiring verification by financial authority (where
exchange control laws exist) and have to bear a gazettedd'
Presently, signatures on permits complying with CITES, mean
little, if anything, outside the country of origin. However if
each country complying with the Convention was to register a
maximum of 3 authorised signatures with CITES copies of which
could be lodged with the ivory importing countries' Customs
authorities, it would much reduce scope for false issuance of
permits. By Government notification to CITES, signatures could
be de-registered, and others substituted.
In the essence of simplicity the permit system should be
confined to raw ivory. As pointed out in Volume 1 the sheer
abundance of ivory artefacts would make permits for everything
produced, a monstrous consumer of paper and little else.
To summarise permit requirements : they should be simple,
internationally uniform, be security documents, signed by
gazettedd' signatures only and applied to the international
movement of raw ivory. These measures would reduce abuse of
permits, but not abolish it altogether.
As pointed out earlier in this chapter, traders were
sceptical about the value of a permit system which, while the
majority adhered to it, could be undermined by a minority who
didn't. The sources of principal concern were speculators who
did not regularly trade in ivory. Again this situation could
be considerably ameliorated (but not rendered foolproof) by
limiting the number of persons or firms allowed to import or
export raw ivory from a country. The rationale behind such a
procedure would be the undesirability of having too many people
competing for a finite resource. It has parallel in the
regulation of many civil aviation businesses in which it is
reasoned that free-for-all competition for a finite market would
jeopardise safety standards. In both cases any new operator
entering the field has to (or with ivory would have to) show
clearly that the supply of potential passengers or ivory
warranted additional operators.
This sort of regulation would have to be operated at a
national level. However there is no reason why it shouldn't
prove viable. The body responsible for authorising the number
of licensed importers/exporters of raw ivory should incorporate
elements of the trade, law enforcement (Customs?) as well as a
conservation interest. By limiting the number of importers/
exporters, speculators will be eliminated (at least in direct
access) from this aspect of the trade. It would also have a
stabilising effect on the business overall and give a base for
a common influence on raw ivory prices.
In 1968 I enjoined a series of private discussions on the
formation of an international ivory 'cartel' in the belief that
if prices could be controlled, production could be manipulated.
The idea has been discussed intermittently since then and has
most recently surfaced as the subject of detailed academic study
by the International Institute for Environment and Development.
I believe the concept to be unworkable despite having been
attracted by it in the past. The growth of cartels has
invariably come about through business developments, and not
through outside imposition. The traders themselves do not like
the idea and successfully broke up an attempt by a firm of
Indians to dominate the world price from Hong Kong. The ivory
producer nations object to any cartel of external parties trying
to control the price of their billion dollar resource. A
producer cartel on the other hand would probably prove feasible
to form on paper, but the heterogeneous circumstances of Africa
give few grounds to believe it would work in practice.
The identification of ivory is of course a matter of some
interest. Currently numbers are painted on, branded in with
a hot iron, or hammered in with metal punches. All these
markings can be removed with relative ease. However a less
easily removed system which seemed appropriate for general
adoption is that developed in the Kruger National Park. A hole
is drilled through the tusk hollow on the inner side of the
curve, some 10 cms from the tusk base. A metal disc with serial
markings is then rivetted through the hole with a standard
'pop riveter'. It is difficult to remove and even when it is,
the hole remains. The discs can be designed to predetermined
and changeable patterns to thwart forgery.
A further instrument to discourage corruption in Africa
would be the sale of all Government ivory by open auction as in
Malawi, and not through clandestine, secretive deals as are
Not one of these suggestions is foolproof and there is no
panacea to poaching in Africa. Singly or in conjunction with one
another the ideas put forward would make illicit trade just that
much more difficult. They would be greatly enhanced if ivory
traders cease to be vilified and legislated against, and are
brought into the process of stabilising the flow of ivory. After
all, there is no other legitimate business which is excluded
from discussion and influence on its destiny. Attempts to
regulate the trade so far have been as balanced as discussing
sales of wheat in the absence of farmers.
One point overrides all and that is no international action
on trade and no legislative process in the temperate zones can
substitute for failure in the management of African Parks. The
survival of elephants depends entirely on how Africans enforce
their laws in their lands. The critical issue of today in this
field is simple law enforcement on the spot.
To close this dissertation I shall take a brief look at the
future. The dominant ecological trend in Africa in the present
is human increase. Its end is nowhere in-sight. In concert
with this elephants will decline and, eventually, the continent's
ivory production will be that from the national parks. If these
contain 175,000 elephants, the eventual sustainable production
will be about 57 tonnes a year from natural mortality. If the
present game reserves become permanent sanctuaries and are added
to the parks, this amount may double. If a balanced trade
develops now the process of decline is likely to take decades,
with traders leaving it one by one as the competition stiffens
and profits fall. Providing that the parks gain real sanctity
this progressive decline is not critical to the survival of
elephant as a species.
While there is general economic and political instability
the price of ivory is likely to continue its upward climb. With
the turmoil of the Middle East and prospect that OPEC will drive
oil prices yet higher, monetary calm seems a long way off. The
immediate calls on ivory are likely to rise and there is every
prospect that the gradual trends hoped for in the preceding
paragraphs will accelerate. These will be symptoms of the
wider malaise from which "conservation" can obtain no independent
solutions. Thus the survival of elephants does not depend upon
trade and traders, but human affairs in a far broader sense.
What we need is stability in man. With that the rest will come
VOLUME 3 (2) RECOMMENDATIONS
Deriving from the material and ideas presented in this
report, I recommend that :
1. The focus of all external aid for fauna and flora
conservation in Africa should be directed toward securing
viable management of national parks.
2. The importance of recommendation 1. is such that aid
outside the parks should not be considered until the
national parks are viable management entities.
3. The most obvious necessity is for manpower to be raised to
a level sufficient to achieve objectives and, in as far as
manpower requirements are not understood, their determination
should be the continent's overriding conservation research
need, to the temporary exclusion if necessary of all other
4. A ban of the ivory trade would be impractical, unethical and
should not be entertained.
5. The application of CITES should be restrained to what is
practical and that the opinion of the law enforcement
agencies responsible (namely Customs officials) should always
be sought in determining what is practical.
6. Focus of control of the international movement of ivory
should be, for practical reasons, on raw and not worked ivory.
7. A uniform permit system be developed for all CITES countries
and that the quality of permits be that of security documents
(e.g. bank cheques).
8. The signatures for any CITES country permits should be limited
to 3 and that these be circulated among member countries.
9. The trade be consulted and invited to contribute to all
future discussion concerning it, and to form a body to
10. Traders wishing to import or export raw ivory should be
licensed to do so, that such licences be limited in any
one country, that any move to increase this number must
show how the trade and elephant conservation would benefit
or not be harmed, and that existing licensees be given
opportunity to lodge objection to further increase of
11. Raw tusks leaving Africa should be identifiable through
identification tags affixed by rivets.
12. Ivory sales by African Governments would, in their own
interests, be best conducted through public auctions.
This dozen of recommendations may seem few upon the volume
of this report, and the money and time which has been spent on
it. Yet if these simple steps cannot be implemented there is
no purpose in discussing other issues. If they are, leagues
will have been gained. Many further recommendations could then
be worth making.
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APPENDIX NO. 1 TERMS OF REFERENCE
TASKS TO BE PERFORMED UNDER THE CONSULTANCY
As Consultant for this study you will be responsible for
ensuring that the following tasks are carried out within
time and budget specified in the contract to which this
Annex is attached.
The main task is to carry out a quantitative study into the
international trade in elephant ivory, the objectives of which
1. To quantify the world wide trade in elephant ivory from
various sources and to ascertain its distribution;
2. To estimate the world-wide investment in elephant ivory
and its products;
3. To assess the role of elephant ivory as a currency
4. To describe the component links in the economic chain of
the ivory trade.
In pursuance of these tasks you are expected to :
1. Contact knowledgeable persons associated with the ivory
trade and to utilize their information in establishing
2. Ascertain sources of and collect information on existing
official statistics including, but not limited to,
identification of points of origin, trans-shipment,
processing and re-export of elephant ivory.
3. To collect, where possible, data on actual prices,
quantities and average tusk weights.
4. To describe existing world-wide regulations on the control
of ivory both in the importing and exporting countries.
5. To identify public agencies responsible for enforcing
these regulations and their legal authority and ability
to do so.
6. To ascertain information on the ivory industry including,
but not limited to, the number of trade organizations and
associations and how the industry is organised.
7. To ascertain whether there is either the will or the ability
within any portion of the trade or manufacturers to regulate
trade in elephant ivory as may be necessary to secure the
survival of elephants.
8. To elicit the outlook of leading traders on the supply
of and demand for ivory and their approach to the
long-term future of the business.
9. To present to lain Douglas-Hamilton for submission to
IUCN within nine months after the commencement of the
contract to which this Annex is attached an interim
10. To present to lain Douglas-Hamilton for submission to
IUCN within twelve months after the commencement of the
contract to which this Annex is attached a final study
report covering all tasks assigned in this Annex and in
particular the impact of the ivory trade upon the
survival of wild elephant populations with recommendations
for the regulation of that trade to lessen any adverse
effects that the trade may have upon elephant survival.
APPENDIX 2 EVIDENCE OF THE ABYSSINIAN IVORY RAIDERS INTO MONGALLA AND BAHR-EL-GHAZAL
PRUJVINCES 1916-1927, from Yardley (1931) andi NIlder (1936)*
1916 200 Abyssiniana -
unarmed. A few
Baganda. Leader -
Alarmed at presence of troops near Torit
- escape with ivory on donkeys, leaving
horses and mulesa.
1916 15 Abyasinian Within a Some Nil 1 Abyssinian Poaching party scattered by herd of
poachers. day's elephant captured elephants.
march of killed
1917 Abyssinian poachers 12 miles Ivory Nil 1 man killed Equatorial Battalion (16) and police (6)
together with west of surprise poachers which escape. Entire
Baluchi, Swahill Panyikwara camp with 23 tusks and ammunition
and Baganda .captured.
1917 Over 100 Abyssinian Tibitib Ivory 2 killed 7 killed, Party under British Officer rushes camp
poachers and two wounded with bayonet and puts enemy to flight.
wounded unknown 105 tusks, 14 donkeys and entire camp
1919 55 Abyssinians Latuka Nil Nil 1 Abyssinian Party reported poaching and trading arms
armed, 20 porters speared by and ammunition for ivory. It has 16
unarmed. Didinga magazine and 49 Gras rifles. Leaves with
(local tribe) all its property and goes east.
1919 Abyssinian poachers Jebel Ivory Nil 3 porters Inspector and another British Officer
15 armed, 50 Lafon killed. 4 round up this party. 10 rifles and
porters unarmed. Swahili ammunition, 62 tusks, 16 head of cattle,
killed. 1 37 donkeys captured.
1920 4 Abyssinian Chiefs Nil Nil Nil Nil Party warns local people that they do not
90 men and a recognize them as British Government
mountain gun. subjects and threaten to return and
1920 4 armed Swahili Nil Nil Nil All captured.
1920 25 armed Latuda Stole 6 Nil Nil Object to raid natives of Lafon but
Abyssinians and Didinga zeribas warned of Police presence.
1921 7 Swahili poachers Reja Nil Nil Nil Captured.
with .303 rifles.
1921 2 Swahili elephant West of Nil Nil Nil Captured.
poachers. One Nile
1921 10 Abyssinian and Didinga Took 2 or 5 Didinga Nil Raid on Didinga.
10 Swahili 8 zeribas killed, 10
poachers guided by Didinga
Taposa (locals) women
1922 10 Abyssinian Boya and Nil 5 Dinka Nil Poachers capture Dinka who escape and
poachers Lafit Bills captured report.
1922 Abyssinian poachers Lotelepey Nil Nil 1 poacher = Force under British Officer attempt to
Mukondo-bin- round up poachers' camp; 22 donkeys, 78
Musoro cattle, 2 rifles (Gras), I revolver, 50
captured, rounds small arm ammunition, 5 pieces of
ivory, grain captured.
1922 Abyssinian poachers Taposa Nil Nil 1 poacher Small force from Lochoreatrum come upon
killed, camp of poachers; one .303 (magazine)
1922 Abyssinian poachers Ndogir Nil Nil 3 poachers Some stores and cattle captured by force
river killed.' of Equatorial Battalion.
1924 Abyssinian poachers Latuka Nil Nil Nil 1 poacher armed with .303 rifle and
(armed) ammunition captured near Hongalla.
1925 Abyssinian and Near Moru- Ivory Nil Most of band British Consul at Maji captures this
Swahili poachers a-Kippi captured ivory caravan. Capture includes women
led by Salih-bin including and children taken by the band, 5 rifles
-Ali (alias Akipi Salih-bin- 25 cartridges and 23 elephant tusks.
Karinga) all Ali who
outlaws from Taposa later
1927 11 Abyssinian Near Nil Nil Nil Reported moving east.
1927 Abyssinian poachers Near Ivory Nil Nil 3 distinct parties (1 numbering 25) or
Monqalla, poachers, tracks followed without
near Mogiri result. Remains of elephant found.
and West of
1929* Abyssinian poachers' 28 miles Ivory Nil 4 killed All remainder of gang caught later.
NALDE L.F. 1936. Equatorial Province handbook. Vo
No. 4. Govt. Printer, 10urtoum.
I. I. Sudan Govt. Mewnoranda (new administratIve series)
YARDLEY T. IS11. "Parerpon- or &Mfee in Eoliateria. T.M. Dent & tone. Londee.
APPENDIX NO. 3 MONETARY CONVERSIONS
Ref. Year $/ Ref. /$
Ref. Year $/
Davis L.E. & Huges
J.R.T. Dollar Sterling
2. Feavearyear Sir A.
The Pound Sterling.
a p.378; b p.379;
3. International Herald
4. International Monetary
Fund 1947-73; 1977-78.
5. Hirst, F.W. Money,
Gold, Silver and Paper.
6. The Economist.
7. British Economy Key
Times Newspapers Ltd,
Refs. 1. British Naval Intelligence Division, France 1942.
2. Hirst, F.W. Money, Gold, Silver and Paper. p.198-290.
1934. New York. a p.198; b p.212-213; c p.290.
3. International Herald Tribune, 1974-1976.
4. International Monetary Fund 1947-73, 1977-78.
4 No par value but exchange rate used by
IMF for computations.
West German Mark
Refs. 1. Great Britain Naval Intelligence Division, Germany
1939-1940. a p.5-6; b p.444-456; c p.458.
2. Hirst F.W. Money, Gold, Silver and Paper. 1934, New
3. International Herald Tribune, 1974-1976.
4. International Monetary Fund 1947-73; 1977-78.
Refs. 1. Cameron R.E. France and the Economic Development of
Europe 1800-1914. Princetown Univ. Press, N.J. 1961.
2. Great Britain Naval Intelligence Division, Netherlands.
3. International Herald Tribune.
4. International Monetary Fund, Annual report. 1946-73,
5. Postma Dutch Participation in African Slave Trade. PhD.
Michigan State 1970. p.195.
Year BF/E Ref. Year BF/$ Ref. $/BF Ref.
Refs. I. Financial Times June 29-30, 1974;
June 26, 1975; June 29, 1976.
2. International Monetary Fund.
3. Course of exchange, Antwerp on
4. Foreign exchange rates, Brussels
5. Banking and monetary statistics 1943.
Federal System Board of Governors,
6. >Supplement to Banking and Monetary
Statistics, Sect. 15. International
Financial Times, June 26, 1975; June 29, 1976.
2. International Monetary Fund.
Refs. 1. International Herald Tribune, 1974-1976.
2. International Monetary Fund 1960-1973; 1977-1978.
Ref. 1. International Financial Statistics.
Year Sch/$ Ref.
Refs. 1. Financial Times, June 29, 1976.
2. International Monetary Fund.
92 ) 14.37
92 ) 15.74
Refs. 1. Anstey V. Economic Development
India. Longmans, Green & Co.
London, N.Y., Paris 1952. p.411
2. Dutt R. Economic History of India
Victorian Era. Routledge & Kegan
Paul Ltd. 1956. p.579-581.
3. Financial Times June 29, 1976.
4. International Monetary Fund.
Annual report Par Values. 1947-73;
5. History of Malindi, p.66. Martin
E.B. E.A. Lit. Bureau, 1973.
6. The Economist.
7. International Financial Stats.
HONG KONG DOLLARS
Refs. 1. Financial Times June 26, 1975; June 29, 1976.
2. International Monetary Fund 1947-73; 1977-78.
3. International Herald Tribune. Sept. 13, 1977;
June 30, 1978.
4. Huxley, C.R. Dept. Agriculture & Fisheries,
Year JY/$ Ref.
1950 360.000 3
51 360.000 3
52 360.000 3
to 360.000 2
1972 334.400 2
73 265.050 2
74 285.225 3-
1975 297.203 1
76 269.370 1
77 267.70 2
78 204.70 2
Financial Times June 26, 1975; June 29, 1976.
International Monetary Fund 1953-73; 1977-78.
Bank of Tokyo.
Year S$/US$ Ref.
1947 2.127 2
48 2.127 2
49 2.127 2
to 3.061 2
1973 2.326 2
74 2.4369 3
75 2.510 1
76 2.432 1
77 2.464 2
78 2.320 2
Financial Times June 26, 1975; June 29, 1976.
International Monetary Funs 1947-73; 1977-78.
International Financial Statistics.
Year EE/EStg Ref.
1912 0.975 3
1947 0.240. 2
48 0.240 2
to 0.348 2
1973 0.392 2
1976 0.398 1
77 0.391 2
78 0.391 2
Refs. 1. Financial Times, 1975-1976.
2. International Monetary Fund, Annual Report 1947-73;
3. Tates Modern Cambist 1912 edition.
Year Sud/$ Ref.
to 0.348 2
1974 0.348 4
1975 0.348 4
1976 0.348 1,
1977 0.348 2
1978 0.400 2
Refs. 1. Financial Times 1976.
2. International Monetary Fund Annual Report
3. International Monetary Fund 1945-65, Vol II, Table 4,
4. International Financial Statistics.
Refs. 1. International Monetary Fund 1960-1973; 1977-1978.
2. International Financial Statistics.
Year CFA/$ Ref.
Ref. 1. International Monetary Fund 1960-1973; 1977-78.
International Monetary Fund Annual Report 1960-73;
2. International Monetary Fund Vol. II Table 4, p.116.
3. Miss. S. Wells, London.
SOUTH AFRICAN POUNDS AND RAND
Refs. 1. Financial Times 1975-1976.
2. International Monetary Fund Annual Report 1947-73;
3. International Monetary Fund 1945-65 Vol. II Table 4
POUNDS AND RAND
APPENDIX 4. ANNUAL CATCHES OF SPERM WHALES
Data by courtesy of Dr. R.M. Laws, Director, Sea Mammal
Research Unit, Cambridge.
1. From the available statistics it is not possible to divide the Southern
Hemisphere pelagic catch into catches relating to the separate calendar years,
hence these pelagic seasons are listed separately.
2. The main producing countries are Japan and the USSR for the Southern
Hemisphere pelagic catch and the North Pacific pelagic and land station
catches. With the cessation of whaling in Australia and South Africa, Peru
is the next largest producer.
3. Catches have been divided where possible into males and females since
it is assumed that the teeth of female whales are generally too small to
form an important element in the use of teeth for scrimshaw work.
4. The weight of teeth per whale suitable for scrimshaw has been estimated
a. Average length for all catches of males in 1977 and 1977/78 = 43 feet.
b. Average weight of first mandibular tooth of 43 feet male = 31 ounces.
c. First mandibular tooth is usually the smallest in the series.
Estimate the average weight of teeth of 43 feet male to be 7 ounces.
d. Average number of teeth in lower jaw = 46.
Weight of teeth estimated to be 46 x 7 = 322 ounces = 20 pounds.
ANNUAL CATCHES OF SPERM WHALES 10 SEASONS, 1968 AND 1968/69 TO 1977 AND 1977/78
Season Southern Hemisphere Season Southern Hemisphere North Pacific North Atlantic
Season Pelagic Whaling eason Land Stations Pelagic & Land Stations Land Stations
Total Males Females Total Males Females Total Males Females Total Males Females
1977/78 4537 3476 1061 1977 1448* 521 128 6343 3627 2716 110* 110 -
1976/77 4075 3308 767 1976 2565* 662 342 7211 4200 3011 111* 111 -
1975/76 7046 4022 3024 1975 3745 1569 1335 7859 4261 3598 275* 37 -
1974/75 8930 5528 3402 1974 4305 1519 1370 8127 4419 3708 472 71 -
1973/74 8315 5165 3150 1973 4381 1566 1086 8567 4605 3962 613 47 -
1972/73 8741 5443 3298 1972 4546 1859 800 6323 4032 2291 691 120 -
1971/72 7335 6319 1005 1971 4550 1817 1166 10701 8248 2438 831 205 -
1970/71 6237 5217 957 1970 4405 1789 910 14833 11234 3581 649 139 -
1969/70 5390 4919 475 1969 4307 1571 993 14946 11322 3611 640 219 -
1968/69 3907 3642 216 1968 3521 1696 312 16373 12786 3571 498 82 -
Countries:- Countries:- Countries:- Countries:-
USSR Australia (ceased Japan Azores
Japan whaling 1978) USSR Madeira
Norway 1969/70 and South Africa (1968- USA (1968-1971 only) Spain
1971/72 1975 only) Iceland
Peru Norway (1968-1971 only)
Chile Canada (1969-1972 only)
* Statistics incomplete for some countries.
NB 1. Southern Hemisphere Pelagic Whaling
and North Pacific Whaling
2. Southern Hemisphere Land Stations -
3. North Atlantic Land Stations
The males and females totals do not agree with the total catch figure in some seasons.
Catches by sexes are not available for Peru and Chile.
Catches by sexes are not available for Azores, MAdeira and Spain.
National Park and Nature Reserve Areas used in the computation
of Table 161. Data derived from 1973 U.N. list of National
Parks and Equivalent Reserves No. 27. Items with an asterisk from
Malawi or separate national sources.
These figures and areas are general indications only. The UN
lists of parks and nature reserves compiled by IUCN are often
at variance with data given by countries themselves.
Central Kalahari Game Reserve 52,800 km2
Gemsbok N.P. 24,800 "
Chobe N.P. 10,360 "
Mkadigadi G.R. 3,900 "
Khutswe G.R. 2,500 "
Nxai Pan N.P. 2,100 "
Moremi Wildlife Reserve 1,813 "
Mabua Sehube G.R. 1,800 "
Total 100,073 km2
or 16.7% of country
Odzala N.P. 1,100 km2
Lefini N.P. ?
Awash N.P. 880 km2
Lake Abiata-Shala N.P. 700 "
Nechissar N.P. 700 "
Omo-Mago-Tama N.P. 8,650 "
Simien Mts National Heritage 136 "
Yangudi-Rasa N.P. 5,400 "
Harar Sanctuary 4,000 "
Menagash N.P. 30 "
Gambela Wildlife Reserve 3,000 "
Total 23,496 km2
or 1.9% of country
Okanda N.P. 1,900 km2
Wonga Wongue N.P. 828 "
Ofoue N.R. 1,500 "
Total 4,228 km2
or 1.6% of country
6. Ivory Coast
Tai Forest N.P.
Nimba Mt. N.R.
(All data supplied by Ecosystems
Lambwe Valley G.R.
Mt. Kenya N.P.
01 Doinyo Sabuk N.P.
Rahole and Kora N.P.
Samburu-Buffalo Spring G.R.
Saiwa Swamp N.P.
Shimba Hills G.R.
Tana River Primate N.R.
Tsavo East N.P.
Tsavo West N.P.
Total 16,350 km2
or 5.1% of country
6.6% of country
Nkota Kota G.R.
Victoria Falls N.P.
Kyle Dam N.P.
Rhodes Inyanga N.P.
Rhodes Matopos N.P.
Mana Pools G.R.
Niakolo Koba N.P.
Basse Casamance N.P.
Gombe Stream N.P.
Lake Manyara N.P.
Total 10,362 km2
or 11% of country
0.2% of country
Total 28,457 km2
or 7.3% of country
Total 8,275 km2
or 4.2% of country
Total 32,276 km2
or 3.4% of country
13. Upper Volta
Arly Fauna R.
. 560 "
2.2% of country
Total 52,620 km2
or 2.2% of country
APPENDIX NO. 6 ON MANPOWER IN PARKS
Most game or park wardens in Africa will concede shortage
of law-enforcement staff. However only in Malawi did I come
across evidence that this was the subject of methodical analysis
and research. This work has not reached the stage where findings
have influenced policy, but the approach adopted is very cogent
to the points made in this report, and I have obtained permission
from the Malawi Government to publish my notes from discussions
with the Senior Research Officer, Department of National Parks
and Wildlife. The discussions related specifically to the
Kasungu National Park.
The Government recognized two broad aspects of law
enforcement concerning wildlife conservation legislation :
namely the location and arrest of offenders in the field and the
location and arrest of poachers in settlements and towns by
normal police methods of investigation.
Police methods about the homesteads searching for wildlife
meat etc. is potentially more efficient in terms of outlay. To
digress : this was demonstrated decisively during the anti-
poaching campaign of 1956-57 in eastern Kenya. The essence of
the programme was not on field patrols, but a comprehensive
informer network spies followed by unannounced raids on
villages by night. However, there are massive social objections
to the method and in truth, raids at 3 a.m., turning the
populace out of bed, searching their houses etc. conflicts strongly
with the concepts of decency and what should be expected from
civilised police procedures. While the technique produced
spectacular results over the short-term, I doubt that it is a
method which has long-term application outside of dictatorships.
On the basis of personal experience, I agree that the use of
investigative methods outside parks create such social problems
that, while they may have application in particular
circumstances, they are not widely appropriate. (These comments
apply strictly to the rural scene, and not to the detection of
'middlemen' in towns.) In consequence, law enforcement must
mainly rely on patrol efficiency within the parks.
The Kasungu Park is c.2000 km with a buffer zone about it
which increases its de facto size to nearer 2500 km The Park
is covered by' dense Brachystegia woodlands intersected by
streams lined by open grassland from 30 m to 1 km in width
(Dambos). In the woodland visibility may be as low as 10-20 m.
The Park and its buffer zone are surrounded by human settlement
at densities of up to 24/km2. The Park complement of Game Scouts
is 19, who are armed, but augmented by 9 porters who carry
tentage, rations, etc. when on patrol. However these porters
are not law-enforcers. The density of Scouts (19) is therefore
1 to c.132 km of park.
Patrol groups usually consist of from 3-5 armed Scouts and
1-2 unarmed porters. While patrolling they walk in single file.
Each patrol thus acts as a single unit with an effective sighting
radius of less than 50 m except when following Dambos when
visibility will be the width of the Dambo.
Certain signs of illegal activity can be detected gunshots,
vultures descending, smoke, wood chopping etc. Footprints can
sometimes be followed. The detection radius of any of these signs
is unlikely to be more than 5 km.
Patrol groups spend an average of 16 nights out a month, with
part of this being spent in placement i.e. in non-productive
patrolling. All things considered they average 13.0-13.5 days a
month actually patrolling in the park. Walking at a mean speed
of 3 km per hour, and 5 hours per day, the daily patrol distance
is 15 km. From this, and the very limited visibility, Bell
estimated that the actual area 'seen' per patrolling day was
The Senior Research Officer then measured patrol efficiency
as proportions of maximum possible efficiency (groups patrolling 12
hours a day 365 days a year at 3 km per hour). Results indicated
that actual efficiency was 44.4% of possible days, 18.5% of
possible hours and c.18.5% of possible area. However maximum
possible efficiency is an impractical target taking into account
that one wouldn't walk 12 hours a day and that, as anyone else,
game scouts are entitled to time off and have other duties etc.
Taking these factors into account, actual efficiency had been
judged as 75% of patrol days available, 47% of possible hours and
47% of possible area. However, because the Scouts have strong
tendencies to concentrate on certain areas (likelihood of more
poachers, easier going etc.) the actual area covered was far less
than 47%. With relocation of patrol strategies it should be
possible to cover c.74% of the park once a year.
It is possible to calculate the probability of an illegal
entrant being encountered by a patrol. Through simple formulae
it can be estimated that a poacher entering a 5 x 5 km square
of the Park, had once chance in 14 of being in that square at
the same time as a patrol. This does not mean that he will be
seen for visibility is c.50 m, but if he lets off a gunshot,
there is a chance it will be heard. Another product of the
same calculation was that if a poacher fired 3 shots a day,
every day of the year, 26 would be heard by patrols! Looked at
yet another way, if a patrol heard only 10 shots in a year, it
could mean that 1.14 shots had been fired per day.
A further step was to estimate the probability of a poacher
actually being seen by a patrol. The product of this was that
if a poacher spent 8 hours a day moving about through the Park
every day of the year, he would have an 83% chance of being
seen once by a patrol in that year. Turned about if patrols
see 10 poachers in a year, it means that there must be an
average of 12 poachers moving in the Park every day of the year.
The efficiency factor of the Anti-poaching unit is, of
course, of paramount importance. With better training at
junior level the efficiency of the rate of interception could
probably be increased by a factor of 5. The increased staff
is, therefore, only one aspect. Higher output per staff member
is more important. Increased cost of housing and logistic
support, suggests that increased efficiency per man hour is a
better immediate approach to the problem.
I have merely summarised discussion in this appendix,
but the National Parks are talking from a base of hard data.
In view of the importance of this particular aspect of research
for African Parks as a whole, I believe that any aid available
for extending and consolidating the progress already achieved
would be best spent if directed towards Malawi. That is
of course if this is agreeable to the Malawi Government. I
believe it to be the most important research being done in any
aspect of African wildlife.
APPENDIX NO. 7 SOMALI POACHING IN KENYA
The Somalis are 4,000,000 Cushitic-speaking people spread
across the Horn of Africa. The partition of the continent in
the late 19th Century arbitrarily ran the borders of what are
now Kenya and Ethiopia through the lands in which they dwelt.
In consequence 1,000,000 of them are politically considered as
Kenyans or Ethiopians, by the Governments of those countries.
There is a strong nationalist sentiment within both Somalia
itself and the Somalis living beyond its borders, that all the
land inhabited by Somalis should be ceded by Kenya and Ethiopia
to become part of a Greater Somalia. Recognition of this desire
for unification led, in the 1920s, to taking a substantial part
of Kenya from south of the Juba river and adding it to what was
then Italian Somaliland. However this "final solution of the
Somali problem" as it was termed, did not resolve the issue.
As Kenya approached independence, the Somalis again asked
for a far larger secession all the lands they occupied as a
tribe in Kenya. Their demand was refused. After Kenya's
independence in 1963, they tried to achieve their objective by
launching a 5 year guerilla offensive. This petered out through
the political mediation of President Kaundu of Zambia in 1968.
However, the belief in "Greater Somalia" remained widespread
In 1971, Somalia was assailed by drought of extreme severity
which caused the loss of c.1,000,000 cattle, 5,750,000 sheep and
goats and over 50,000 camels (I.M. Lewis, 1978). This deprived
some 250,000 people of their livelihood. It caused a number of
younger men to seek succour from their kin in Kenya and Ethiopia
and the circumstances fuelled their belief in the need for more
'lebensraum'. As Somali tribes span the Kenya/Somalia border,
it is not easy to differentiate between a "Kenya" Somali and a
"Somali" Somali, making repatriation of immigrants difficult.
Those Somalis who entered Kenya to find new fortunes in the
*wake of their drought losses, turned to Africa's standby ivory.
With the high prices of 1973, shooting elephants was a quick way
to make a lot of money. By 1973 they had passed beyond the bounds
of what they claimed as Somalia (i.e. Kenya's Tana river) and
were shooting in the Tsavo Parks. They were aggressive and were
as inclined to fight as to run when encountered by the authorities.
On the one hand they were recouping the drought losses, on the
other they were asserting the Somali cause. Their morale rose
steeply when Somalia's army embarked on open warfare attempting
to take the Ogaden from Ethiopia. Likewise it declined when
Russian and Cuban troops threw them out of Ethiopia. Since then
the Somali 'poachers' have again become more active in Kenya.
On occasion they have launched attacks on civilian and government
The Galana Game and Ranching Company lease c.2,000 square
miles east of and contiguous to the Tsavo East National Park.
At any one time the Ranch used to hold between 3,000 and 5,000
elephants. In 1977 the Ranch's wildlife manager was killed in
a clash with Somali 'poachers'. In August-November 1978, the
Ranch management estimated that there were c.200 Somalis on
the Ranch, 40 of whom were armed, shooting 300-400 elephants a
month. One man apprehended revealed a cache of 55 tusks the
proceeds of the previous 2 weeks' hunting. This man later
bought his freedom from arrest for c.$2,500 (Kenya Sh 20,000).
Government were either reluctant or powerless to do anything
about the situation.
The salient issue is that the Somali 'poachers' who have
assailed Kenya's parks and game lands and taken large quantities
of ivory are only poachers in part. They also see it as an
aspect of their cause toward a unified country. They have
already lifted anti-poaching work to the realm of outright
military tactics. In this respect the situation is similar to
the Abyssinian poaching detailed in Appendix 2.
The ultimate solution of the issue must be political in the
broadest sense and is beyond the limited pale of wildlife
interests. This has not been made clear in media reports on the
problem. Be it noted, however, that there may be good political
reasons for not publicising the situation. If this be so (and
it is beyond the requirements of this report to discuss the issue
in depth), then conservationist comment with its very narrow
perspectives may be both embarrassing and counter-productive in
the long term.
Lewis, I.M. 1978. Somalia Recent History in Africa
South of the Sahara 1977-78. Europa Publications.
APPENDIX NO. 8 PROJECT ACCOUNTS
In Four Quarterly sections
Refunded to I. Douglas-Hamilton
Total survey costs
Air fares donated by
Botswana Game Industries
Not yet received.
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