首页 » 文章 » 文章详细信息
Nature Conservation Volume 42 ,2020-11-03
Illegal capture and internal trade of wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Sri Lanka
Research Article
T. G. Supun Lahiru Prakash 1 W. A. A. D. Upul Indrajith 2 Suranjan Karunarathna 3 Madhava Botejue 4 Vincent Nijman 5
Show affiliations
DOI:10.3897/natureconservation.42.57283
Received 2020-08-05, accepted for publication 2020-10-20, Published 2020-11-03
PDF
摘要

Abstract The illegal wildlife trade is considered one of the major threats to global biodiversity. Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) have been highly valued by various cultures for use in religious and spiritual contexts, as a draft animal, and more recently, as a tourist attraction. Thus, the demand for captive elephants is high. Wild Asian elephants are taken from the wild, often illegally, to maintain these captive populations due to the unviability of captive breeding programs. For the first time, we documented the extent to which wild elephants are being illegally captured and traded in Sri Lanka between January 2008 and December 2018. We collected data from case records maintained by the Sri Lanka court system where the suspects of illegal elephant trade were prosecuted in addition to information gathered by archives and interviews with various stakeholders. We documented 55 cases where elephants were illegally traded. This is probably an underestimate due to the mortality rate of elephants during capture operations, and challenges in collecting data on this highly organized illicit trade. Nearly equal numbers of male and female elephants were traded and more than 50% of them were juveniles, aged ≤5 years. Significantly more elephants were found to be seized in 2014–2015 than in the other time periods combined. We found evidence of the illegal capture of wild elephants from wildlife protected areas and state forests. More importantly, we identified evidence of corruption of wildlife officers, involvement of politicians and other high-ranking personnel in the illegal wildlife trade, and lack of active enforcement of wildlife law as major challenges to overcome if the illegal capture and domestic trade of wild elephants in Sri Lanka are to be halted. Based on our study, we make a series of recommendations that should result in implementing policy to reduce the trafficking of Asian elephants in Sri Lanka and improve the conservation management of the species.

关键词

wildlife trafficking;wildlife crimes;national parks;illegal trade;endangered species;Asian elephant

授权许可

T. G. Supun Lahiru Prakash, W. A. A. D. Upul Indrajith, A. M. C. P. Aththanayaka, Suranjan Karunarathna, Madhava Botejue, Vincent Nijman, Sujan Henkanaththegedara
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

推荐引用方式

T. G. Supun Lahiru Prakash,W. A. A. D. Upul Indrajith,Suranjan Karunarathna,Madhava Botejue,Vincent Nijman. Illegal capture and internal trade of wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Sri Lanka. Nature Conservation ,Vol.42(2020)

您觉得这篇文章对您有帮助吗?
分享和收藏
0

是否收藏?