More than 90 percent of ivory in large seized shipments came from elephants that died less than three years before, according to a new University of Utah study. bans come 26 years after a 1990 ban on international trade in ivory, aimed at curtailing the widespread poaching of elephants, whose populations plummeted in the 1980s.Combining radiocarbon ivory dating with genetic analysis provides a picture of when and where poachers are killing elephants, useful tools in the ongoing battle against illegal animal product trade. Despite efforts to stop the ivory trade, poaching claims an estimated 8 percent of African elephants each year, or around 96 elephants per day. Bans usually allow the sale of ivory that was legally acquired prior to 1976, including heirloom or antique pieces.Because radioactive carbon-14 levels have been slowly declining since the 1960s, scientists can use the carbon-14 signature in a bone, tusk or tooth to determine, within about a year, when the material was formed.Chesson says that forensic scientists have used the so-called “bomb carbon” signature to estimate the ages of human remains in cold cases and to track the transit time of cocaine from South America to the United States.Elephant poaching is alive and well — and the elephants are not.A team of scientists examining seized shipments of elephant ivory from Africa have found that the vast majority came from elephants that died within the last three years.
This additional information can be helpful to people trying to address those issues.” The ivory trade In June 2016, the United States banned almost all buying or selling of elephant ivory, after Hawaii, California and New York, previous centers of the U. Traders in illegal ivory sometimes use this clause as a cover, claiming that their wares are older than they really are.
They matched the ivory to 1,350 DNA samples taken from dung gathered at 71 spots across 29 different countries.