One individual wanted to know how many giraffes contributed to the 50 specimens recorded from Somalia, so I explained why that was not the main issue. The essential point was revealing that a market was present for the international trade in body parts of endangered species that were illegally killed. The second question was what percent of specimens in shipments from South Africa to the US contained specimens from countries of unknown origin, indicating illegal killing. My reply was that the question was the wrong one to ask from a conservation science perspective because the crucial question is not the percentage of a shipment with illegal specimens, but the percentage of a source population that is taken by illegal killing. Five specimens in a shipment of 1,000 specimens is 0.5%, but five specimens from a population of 500 is 1%, which might not sound like a lot, but some giraffe populations are that low in number and 1% of the population of the US is about 3,400,000 people, or the number of people in the state of Oregon.
Another flashpoint will be opposing proposals on elephants, of which about 20,000 are poached every year for the illegal ivory trade. Southern African countries, home to large populations, want to loosen restrictions to raise funds for conservation. But others on the continent want to make the ivory ban even broader. 1e1e36bf2d