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There’s nothing natural about mass extinction – discussion series

We are in what scientists call the 6th mass extinction with wildlife disappearing at a rate of 1,000 times the natural extinction rate. It’s known to be the greatest loss of biodiversity since the dinosaurs over 66 million years ago, and this time it’s caused by humans.

Some of the planet’s most iconic species will soon be gone forever unless we do something about it.

  • Tigers – studies show there are as few as 3,000 surviving in the wild today
  • Elephants – 30% of African savannah elephants were lost in just seven years and continue to be killed at a rate of 1 every 15 minutes
  • Rhinos – three sub-species have already gone extinct this decade, and less than 27,000 remain in the wild including just 60 Javan Rhinos
  • Lions – at best there are 15,000 lions surviving in the wild and about 8,000 farmed lions that can never be released into the wild
  • Mountain Gorillas – just 800 surviving in the wild

What’s driving the loss of these animals at such a violent and alarming rate?

Unprecedented levels of poaching and wildlife trafficking to meet demand for products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger bones. Trophy hunting of animals such as lions which is seen by some to be a sport. Habitat loss as land is cleared for the generation of products and to accommodate human settlement. At the heart of this loss is the insatiable need to consume and commodify the natural world and its wildlife. Often under the guise of what is commonly called “sustainable use”.

The extinction discussion series

Instead of waiting for others to take action, we want to engage with you as part of our panel discussion series to have open conversation about doing more for wildlife.

Over the coming months, we will share what we’ve experienced and learned about the issues facing wildlife, and importantly, what can be done to turn things around. Addressing the extinction crisis will take something outside of the “business as usual” approach.

Through the series For the Love of Wildlife will host individuals who are impacting the conservation landscape, including behaviour change specialists, government influencers, researchers, rangers, economists, academics, film makers and many more.

Meeting monthly, the series is also a chance for you to connect with like-minded people who are also passionate about wildlife and creating change.

As American Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” 

 

SESSION ONE – 4 October 2018

Trailing world leaders in saving elephants and rhinos from extinction – Australia’s domestic ivory and rhino horn trade

We were all heart-broken by the death of Sudan earlier this year – the last male Northern White Rhino. His death effectively leaves the species extinct, joining three other rhino species that have already been lost to extinction this decade.

Both elephant and rhino poaching have soared to crisis point and it’s no wonder that most Australians are alarmed to hear we still sell elephant ivory and rhino horn in Australia despite this crisis.

 

 

 

Results from the Great Elephant Census showed we lost 30% of African elephants from 2007 to 2014 – that’s about 144,000 elephants. During the same time rhino poaching in South Africa rose a disturbing 9,000% to more than 1,200 rhinos. There are less than 30,000 surviving in the wild today.

With numbers like these, it’s no surprise Prince William has stated, “a betting man would still bet on extinction.”

In response to their plight governments around the world including the UK are acting by closing their domestic markets for ivory and rhino horn. Yet Australia’s remains legal and unregulated.

For the Love of Wildlife and its collaborative partners Dr Lynn Johnson, Nature Needs More and Fiona Gordon, Gordon Consulting NZ have been investigating Australia’s domestic trade for the past three years and what’s been uncovered is nothing short of alarming. Illegal ivory and rhino horn is entering Australia, antique dealers openly selling items they can’t age, and the systems meant to manage the international trade are fraught with inadequacies. Every day it remains open we provide the opportunity for recently poached items to be sold on our domestic market. This makes us complicit in the poaching crisis.

All of our panellists, Lynn Johnson of Nature Needs More, Donalea Patman and Hayley Vella of For the Love of Wildlife, recently gave evidence through the Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia’s ivory and rhino horn trade. Join them to hear about what’s been uncovered, the implications for Australia and how we as a country can play a role in stopping the demise of two of the planets most iconic species – the elephant and the rhino.

Australia…we have blood on our hands

Australian filmmakers Augusta Miller and Michael Dahlstrom are backing a call on the Australian Government to ban the sale of ivory and rhino horn in Australia.

The pair joined forces with conservation group For the Love of Wildlife to create a social media commercial driving home a message that Australia has blood on its hands whilst allowing trade in ivory and rhino horn. It comes ahead of the outcome of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Australia’s ivory and rhino horn trade.

Miller said she felt compelled to do something to make a difference when she learned these items could still be sold in Australia.

“Like most Australians I had no idea that it’s still legal to sell ivory and rhino horn. When I found out I felt overwhelmed by a desire to do something about it.

“It’s despicable. It needs to stop. It’s the only ethical choice,” she said.

Dahlstrom agreed with the need to end the trade to ensure the survival of two of the world’s most iconic animals which are now facing extinction.

“It’s unfathomable that we’re allowing this trade to continue when one elephant is killed every 15 minutes for its ivory, and a rhino every eight hours for its horn.

“Unless our government takes action to end it, we’ve all got blood on our hands,” he said.

Miller’s mother, actress Sandy Gore, provided the voiceover for the commercial after hearing about the parliamentary inquiry into the trade.

“In the 1970s I was gifted two ivory bracelets. At the time I was in my early 20’s and had no concept of the degree of devastation these items had caused for elephants.

“I can’t change what happened to those elephants but I can do something now, however small, to give back and say enough is enough,” she said.

In March this year the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement launched the inquiry into Australia’s ivory and rhino horn trade. Evidence has been heard from the Department of Environment, non-government organisations, antiques and auction industry, Customs and online selling platforms including Facebook.

While the importing and exporting of ivory and rhino horn is regulated, it remains legal to buy and sell domestically.

For the Love of Wildlife has been working closely with Federal MP Jason Wood to end Australia’s ivory and rhino horn trade. The group has released shocking footage of antique dealers selling ivory they can’t determine the age of and advising customers how to illegally smuggle it out of the country.

Founding Director, Donalea Patman said damning evidence of the extent of wildlife trafficking in Australia had been presented through the inquiry and that there is overwhelming support to ban the ivory and rhino horn trade.

“It’s naively assumed any ivory and rhino horn in Australia must have entered the country legally, yet we’ve seen that the systems used to regulate international trade such as the CITES permit system and trade database have major shortfalls,” she said.

“Through the inquiry we’ve heard Australians are ordering ‘kill on demand’ for ivory and rhino horn from Tanzania and Kenya. We also heard of a case in Australia where a trafficker was caught with several rhino horns, ivory and cash, but was never prosecuted despite a water tight case.

“Traffickers already have a perception of wildlife crime being a low-risk, high-reward activity and Australia perpetuates this,” Patman said.

In response to those who believe Australia’s trade may be small compared to countries like China or Vietnam, Patman says the true volume of Australia’s trade is unknown.

“We’ve witnessed thousands of items for sale across just a handful of stores and online platforms, and in all of these cases, there wasn’t any documentation to prove an item’s age or legality. At best, sellers guess the age of items based on visual appearance.

“As long as our government allows for a legal domestic trade, we’ll continue providing opportunities for traffickers to launder illegal ivory and rhino horn into our legal domestic market,” she said.

“It makes us complicit in the poaching crisis and it’s a responsibility the Australian Government cannot ignore.

“We’re deeply touched and incredibly grateful to Augusta, Michael and their team for creating such a powerful ad with a message that we know will hit home for all Australians,” she said.

The ad can be seen at fortheloveofwildlife.org.au

In April this year the UK Government announced its ban on the domestic sale of ivory in a bid to help protect elephants. The move came after a public consultation process where more than 60,000 people showed their support to end the trade.

BREAKING NEWS

 

 

 

The Age September 2018 – Greg Callahan

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Joint Committee on rhino horn and elephant ivory.

Xinhuanet News 20 September 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Age Newspaper 20 September 2018

9 News 15 July, 2018

 

 

ABC News – Melissa Clarke 2 July 2018

ELEPHANTS

Thousands of elephants and rhinos are poached around the world every year, but a loophole in Australian law allows ivory to be sold domestically.#9News | http://9News.com.au

Posted by 9 News Melbourne on Sunday, 15 July 2018

eBay joins calls for Australian ban on elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn sales

Tom McIlroy, Financial Review

July 4, 2018

 

 

 

ABC Radio 2 July 2018
By Political Reporter Melissa Clarke.

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion designer Collette Dinnigan calls for elephant tusk, rhino horn trade ban – May 2018

 

 

 


Australian ivory trade’s role in encouraging poaching to come under scrutiny – 5 April 2018
By political reporter Melissa Clarke

ABC News Radio – 2 July 2018

World Wildlife Day Melbourne Crush

 

National Geographic Australia – 2 March 2018

By Michael Smith

 

 

 

 

The Conversation – 12 March 2018

 

 

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald – 23 February 2018

By Amy Croffey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald – 3 March 2018

By Neelima Choahan & Shiamak Unwalla

 

 

 

 

ABC News – 4 March 2018

By  Tynan King

 

 

 

 

7 News Melbourne

By Melina Sarris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranges Trade Mail – 6 March 2018

By Peter Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buro 24/7 – 8 March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running Billboards

Captive Breeding and Canned Hunting

Bryan Seymour, 7 News covers the chilling footage brought to light by safari cameraman Derek Gobbett.

7 NEWS September 2016

Explosive footage and the truth exposed by Derek Gobbett, a safari cameraman accompanying 10 hunters on De Klerk Safaris concession hosted by Stormberg Elangeni Safaris. This is the full story which was featured in the recent BBC story.

A Parliamentary Inquiry into the register of Environmental Organisations who focus work on issues outside of Australia, wanting their deductible gift recipient status removed. This article by Roderick Campbell lays it bare.

https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/19/breaking-down-party-lions/

The Federal Election in Australia had us featured as part of Jason Wood’s election campaign. Jason Wood held his seat in the electorate of La Trobe with support of the Animal Justice Party.

Election Press 28:06:16 Full pageElection Press 28:06:16 Story

Media on CACH’s withdrawal from I’m a Celebrity, Network Ten, Australian Reality TV

Bryan Seymour, 7 News 14 March 2016

Lucy Mae Beers, Daily Mail Australia 16 March 2016

Ebony Bowden, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2016

Courier Mail, 16 March 2016

Scoopla, 16 March 2016

 

The Animals Post 2015 UK, 2015

International Business Times – 31 March, 2015

Mojo (Monash Journalism) 16 March, 2015

sponsors13

 

By Isabel McCrea, IFAW Australia published 13 March, 2015.

IFAW Article

 

Daily Maverick

By Peter Borchert, South Africa 15 March 2015

Peter Borchert

sponsors-fourpaws

 

By FOUR PAWS International

FOUR PAWS

 

The Guardian

By Oliver Milman, 13 March 2015

Nova Magazine March Edition by Jeremy Ball

 

Article Mail Newspaper, 4 March, 2015

Mail 4 March 2015

Article Herald Sun, Victoria, 3 March, 2015

Herald Sun 3 March 2015

Article Saturday Star, Johannesburg, December 6, 2014

Joburg Sat Star Dec 6

Joburg Sat Star Full Page

 

Article The Mail, March 4, 2014

The Mail 8 July 2014 -2

The Mail 8 July 2014 -1

Ecolarge-2013-200m-question

Leader Community Newspaper, July 4, 2014

Simon Bloch, Durban reports on Australian Government’s initiative (Sunday 6 July, Weekend Argus)

S Bloch, Sth Africa

Article The Mail, March 4, 2014

Newspaper article 3 March

The Journey Home & Return To Earth

Melbourne Elephant Ivory and Rhino Horn Crush Epilogue

Donalea Patman, Founding Director, For the Love of Wildlife

 

For the Love of Wildlife has taken very seriously its commitment to the #MelbourneCrush and #NoDomesticTrade campaign. While the act of destroying elephant ivory and rhino horn items aims to show that the only value they have is on a living animal, importantly, we must consider that these items represent the death of thousands of elephants and rhinos.

#MelbourneCrush held in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne on World Wildlife Day, 2018. Jason Wood MP destroying ivory surrendered by the Australian Government to be #Gone4Good.

Elephants are incredible creatures with strong social structures and personalities. Just like us, they have intricate family systems.  Rhinos are as ancient as time, yet there are just 27,000 rhinos left in the wild today. These sensitive beings are fast disappearing before our very eyes.

On Saturday 3 March 2018, Australia marked World Wildlife Day with a powerful message about the importance of these majestic animals, by destroying elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Understandably, we have being considering what the epilogue must be for the items being crushed.

A heart-felt invitation has been received from internationally celebrated artist and Founder of the Human Elephant Foundation, Andries Botha, for the crushed ivory and horn, of these elephants and rhinos, to take the journey home and be returned to the earth in the land that they were born. The crushed items will be buried beneath a bronze memorial Andries is creating to honour Dr Ian Player and his conservation partner, Magqubu Ntombela.

Dr Ian Player with his dear friend and conservation partner, Magqubu Ntombela.

Andries was a very dear and close friend of Dr Ian Player who passed in 2015. For the Love of Wildlife is both honoured and humbled by Andries’ invitation, for these elephants and rhinos to complete their journey home.

“It is, in my opinion vitally significant to bring the crushed rhino horn and elephant tusk home to the ancestral lands of these ancient creatures, where not only their bodies exist as essential components of our ecosystems, but where their ancestral presence and voices originate.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finish with a message from Andries.

We from the Human Elephant Foundation commend and support For the Love of Wildlife Ltd and the Australian supporters of the Melbourne Crush event.

It is critical that countries who are a part of the wildlife traffic economy take a courageous stand in support of wildlife that is now particularly vulnerable, as poachers, organised crime syndicates, corrupt governments and private and corporate business become more bold in their commodification of wild life products. It is imperative that we stand for these endangered animals. 

It is, in my opinion, vitally significant to bring the crushed rhino horn and elephant tusk home to the ancestral lands of these ancient creatures, where not only their bodies exist as essential components of our ecosystems, but where their ancestral presence and voices originate.

We are honoured to take custodianship of the crushed remains of these animals, to bury them beneath a monumental memorial sculpture soon to be erected to honour Magqubu Ntombela and Dr Ian Player, who saved the White Rhino from extinction in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and to repatriate them to the land they belong to.

A maquette of the memorial.

Andries Botha, South African Sculptor and Founder, Human Elephant Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Wildlife Day Melbourne Crush, 1pm Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne 3 March

30% of Africa’s savanna elephants KILLED in 7 years. Rhinos left to DIE after having their faces cut off.

A perceived value in their tusks and horn for trinkets, carvings and status is driving this poaching crisis. Elephants and rhinos will be gone before we know it unless immediate GLOBAL ACTION is taken.

What can Australia and New Zealand do to protect these iconic species?

Enact a full domestic ban on the sale of ivory and rhino horn. Australia and New Zealand continue to allow an unregulated domestic trade, providing gaps for recently poached and trafficked items to be sold through our markets.

In September 2016 Donalea Patman OAM (For the Love of Wildlife), Dr Lynn Johnson (Natureneedsmore), Fiona Gordon (Gordon Consulting) and Rebecca Keeble (IFAW) met with Minister Josh Frydenberg to hand deliver IFAW’s “Under the Hammer” report exposing the rampant trade in Australia and NZ, and a communique signed by 56 Australian and International organisations calling for a full domestic trade ban – this alone should have warranted action.

Melbourne Crush ambassador, internationally acclaimed designer Collette Dinnigan AO, says; “As an Australian who was born in South Africa, I know that for Africa’s people to thrive its wildlife must also thrive.  Worldwide, any trade in elephant ivory or rhino horn that provides traffickers the opportunity to launder ivory and rhino horn from recently killed animals, must be decisively closed, this includes Australia and NZ. It is time to protect these magnificent animals, for our children.”

SURRENDER your ivory and rhino horn items to be DESTROYED to demonstrate that their only value is on a living animal. Drop items at reception, Melbourne Zoo beforehand if you can’t attend but wish to support this initiative, knowing too well that all ivory and rhino horn items are from the killing of a rhino or elephant, no matter its age.

Melbourne’s largest auction house Leonard Joel joins the call for a full domestic trade ban with latest Leonard Digital Newsletter promoting World Wildlife Day Melbourne Crush.

If you wish to do something real for elephants and rhinos, please give generously – we can’t do this without you – Paypal or email info@fortheloveofwildlife.org.au

Stand up for elephants and rhinos by attending this historic Australian event. Send a loud and clear message that we want this trade #Gone4Good. For further event details click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working together towards the Melbourne Crush:

3 Degrees

Qantas

Save African Rhino Foundation

Born Free Foundation 

Zoos Victoria

Stephen Powell Photography/Wildlife Artist

Chris Gretch Design

Wisdom Graphics

Structured Events

 

We cannot stay silent whilst elephants and rhinos are brutally poached – their survival is in our hands.

An enormous thank you to internationally acclaimed designer Collette Dinnigan AO who knows just how important Africa’s wildlife is to its country, to its people. A true hero for wildlife, Colette’s commitment, hard work and passion has helped bring these extraordinary people together.

We cannot be silent and watch the brutal poaching crisis. Australia and New Zealand’s unregulated domestic trade allows for illegally trafficked items to be sold through our markets. Waiting for someone else to act isn’t a character trait of these extraordinary individuals.

All for the love of elephants and rhinos.

 

Australia…No Domestic Trade!

Despite what many Australians might believe, elephant ivory and rhino horn is sold in Australia.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released their “Under the Hammer” report, exposing how much ivory and rhino horn is being sold through auction rooms.

The report identified that only 2.7 per cent of items inspected at Australian auction rooms had ‘provenance’ documentation which provides the most useful information to determine the origin and legality of an item.

Items for sale in Chapel Street, Melbourne.

At least three rhinos are brutally slaughtered daily and one elephant is killed every 15 minutes. The South African government released rhino poaching statistics for 2016, reporting 1,054 rhinos has been killed.

A privately funded Great Elephant Census states that African elephant populations have declined by 30 per cent over the last seven years.

The Chinese Government announced it will close its ivory market by the end of 2017 and it’s time Australia does too.

Print out the Speak Out Letter and post to the Minister. Details are on the letter and you don’t have to be living in Australia.

In September 2016 the Australian Government was asked to enact a total ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn in a communiqué that was hand delivered to Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg.

Signed by over 50 conservation organisations from around the world, the ban would be a move to ensure Australia commits to playing its role in saving elephants and rhinos from extinction in the wild in the near future.

The communique was presented by Australian NGO founders Donalea Patman (For the Love of Wildlife) and Dr Lynn Johnson (Breaking The Brand) together with Fiona Gordon of New Zealand based environmental firm Gordon Consulting and Rebecca Keeble of IFAW.

Ms Patman has been disappointed with the response from Minister Frydenberg and the apparent confusion about who is responsible for dealing with illegal ivory or rhino horn.

“The response was that Australia is unlikely to be driving the elephant poaching or international illegal trade,” Ms Patman said.

“On top of that, ivory was found for sale in Western Australia in December 2016 which didn’t have the required documentation (shocking to see that ivory appears in their catalogue again in February).

It was first reported to the Australian Federal Police who then referred it to State Police, who then passed it to Border Control,” she said.

“There is clearly confusion about who is responsible and a lack of political will to demonstrate leadership on this issue,” she said.

Items for auction in Mt Lawley in December 2016.

The threat of extinction of these iconic species remains high. In November last year Vietnam hosted the third International Wildlife Trade Conference in Hanoi.

The Duke of Cambridge and President of United for Wildlife, Prince William attended the conference and delivered a speech on tackling illegal wildlife trade. In his speech he stated “A betting man would still bet on extinction”.

Follow the campaign on Facebook and use the following hashtags #NoDomesticTrade #EyesOnIvory #RhinosMatter #NotOnMyWatch

Print out these posters, take a selfie with it and post to our Facebook page…show Australia that it’s time. The Australian Government needs the public to show that it cares deeply about saving these iconic African animals.

Print out the Speak Out Letter and post to the Minister. Details are on the letter and you don’t have to be living in Australia.

 

The communique that was hand delivered to the Minister in September 2016. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional press:

Financial Review, May 2018

SA Breaking News 13 Nov 2017

Lowvelder Press 13 November 2017

SA Breaking News

15 Minute News

Traveller 24

Netwerk 24

The Mercury