Last Chance for Africas Elephants 20090805 BBC R4.mp3 (Size: 31.76 MB) (Files: 4)
Last Chance for Africas Elephants 20090805 BBC R4.mp3
Last Chance for Africas Elephants.txt
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Last Chance for Africa's Elephants? 03-08-2009
Andrew Luck-Baker asks how science can stop the new upsurge in the slaughter of African elephants for the booming illegal international trade in ivory.
20 years ago the African elephant was being fast-tracked to extinction by poaching. In response, the world voted to outlaw the international trade in ivory. Since then, elephant numbers in many countries have been recovering. But in the last five years, ivory poaching and trafficking have surged once more.
One group of conservation scientists has calculated that 38,000 animals every year are being slaughtered to feed the demand for ivory products in East Asia. If that poaching rate is correct and sustained, the African elephant will be effectively extinct within 15 years.
Some other elephant experts argue the slaughter rate is not as high as this but are still alarmed at the steep increase in poaching in many African countries.
Andrew Luck-Baker visits Kenya, one of the countries where some believe elephant poaching is accelerating out of control. He also talks to the scientist behind an ivory DNA test which is helping the fight against the organised crime syndicates behind the illegal trade.
From The Radio Times
It's surprising and unnerving to learn that, 20 years after its prohibition, the ivory trade is booming once more, spelling increasing danger for Africa's elephants. Demand for ivory in the Far East has seen poachers avariciously loading their guns, and in Kenya poaching has tripled in the last two years. Here, Andrew Luck-Baker examines whether science holds the key to decelerating the needless slaughter of these magnificent beasts. And perhaps it does. Professor Sam Wasser at the University of Washington has developed a geographic DNA fingerprinting technique for ivory, meaning his team are able to pinpoint where in Africa the sample originated, thus helping law-enforcement officers to plan their anti-poaching strategies more efficiently. Whether it's successful remains to be seen, but it's heartening to know that steps are being taken to protect one of nature's most aweinspiring creatures.
-- Gary Rose
Type : mpeg 1 layer III
Bitrate : 160
Mode : stereo
Frequency : 44100 Hz
Length : 00:27:41
Encoder : Lame 3.97
Source : iPlayer
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