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Monday, July 31, 2017

Why D.C. Is the New Hub for U.S. Ivory Sales

Why D.C. Is the New Hub for U.S. Ivory Sales

Has the nation’s capital become the new center of the U.S. ivory trade? Investigators counted almost three times as many ivory items for sale in the Washington, D.C., area in 2016 than ten years earlier, even as the amount of ivory for sale in other parts of the country has been decreasing.

From antique shops to flea markets, galleries, and even a tobacco shop, some 658 pieces of ivory for sale were identified in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area by investigators with TRAFFIC, the wildlife monitoring organization. A new report from TRAFFIC, with support from the World Wildlife Fund and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), a conservation-focused nonprofit, details the amounts and types of ivory for sale in six major U.S. cities and several online marketplaces.

“We were surprised to see greater D.C. top the list of elephant ivory in retail,” says TRAFFIC’s Rachel Kramer, one of the report’s authors. Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco have long been the main ivory hubs in the U.S. The surveys conducted for this report, she says, suggest sales have shifted, most likely because California and New York have imposed restrictions on the ivory trade far stronger than regulations in many other states. Some sellers said as much to investigators, Kramer says.

Full story at

Source: National Geographic

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