WWF/TRAFFIC Wild Elephant Conservation


Wild Asian elephant conservation is one of Elemotion Foundation’s top priorities.  The illegal trade in ivory and live elephants is a major factor in the decline of wild populations.




Ivory and Elephant Parts

In July of 1975, CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) listed the Asian elephant in Appendix I.  This listing prohibits all commercial trade of Asian elephant products between its 175 member nations.  While African elephants are suffering the most from this illegal trade, Asian elephants are also greatly impacted.  Unfortunately, the efforts of many international organizations and governing bodies to prohibit trade have not resolved the problem.  Illegal poaching, smuggling, and loopholes in legislation allow a steady influx of new ivory and elephant parts into international markets.  Worked ivory can be found displayed openly at tourist shops in Southeast Asia.  It is also smuggled into countries such as Japan, China, United States, and parts of Europe.

Live Elephants

Another large problem is the illicit live elephant trade which affects elephants of all ages.  Due to the recent growth in the Southeast Asian tourism industry, a market for baby elephants has emerged.  These babies, many younger than two years old, are poached from the wild and used for begging on the streets, work in temples, or sold to tourist camps.

Elemotion Foundation supports TRAFFIC.

After consulting with the WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature), we have agreed to help support the efforts of their partner organization, TRAFFIC (Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network).  Through research and investigation, TRAFFIC works to uncover the truth behind the live elephant and ivory trade in Southeast Asia.   If you would like to help wild elephants, donate to Elemotion Foundation’s WWF/TRAFFIC initiative.



“In 2006, TRAFFIC surveyed 14 markets in Myanmar and three border markets in Thailand and China, and found some 9000 pieces of ivory and 16 whole tusks for sale, representing the ivory of an estimated 116 bulls.

The fact that retail dealers openly display ivory and other elephant parts, and rarely hesitate in disclosing smuggling techniques and other illegal activities with potential buyers, further highlights that effective law enforcement is lacking.” (Shepherd, C. and Nijman, V./TRAFFIC Southeast Asia (2008): Elephant and Ivory Trade in Mayanmar)


“Many showmen feel, undoubtedly correctly, that the ‘cuteness’ factor of calves will pull in more money than will adults- and the younger the calf, the better. Whenever the calves get too big they are sold, the money being used to buy new infants…  In the mid 1990s, about 50 calves entered Thailand annually from Myanmar, where Thai traders purchased them at the border for THB125 000-150 000 (USD 5000-6000 at 1997 rates)” (Lair, R. (1997). Gone Astray: The Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity. FAO, Bangkok, Thailand)


WWF Asian elephant information and conservation:

TRAFFIC’s work to save the endangered Asian elephant: