The long-extinct woolly mammoth could gain protected status in an unprecedented attempt to save the African elephant from the global ivory trade.
If approved, the protection of the mammoth under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) could prove vital in saving its modern relatives. The proposal by Israel would close a loophole that enables the trafficking of illegal elephant ivory under the guise of legal mammoth ivory, which is almost identical in appearance.
“They are often intermingled in shipment and retail displays, and are fashioned in a similar style. To the untrained eye it’s very difficult to distinguish between them,” said Iris Ho, senior specialist in wildlife programmes and policy at Humane Society International (HSI). “There is currently no international regulatory regime to track and monitor the commercial trade in mammoth ivory.” MORE