Global ivory market prices since the 1989 CITES ban

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Sosnowski, M. C., Knowles, T. G., Takahashi, T. and Rooney, N. J. 2019. Global ivory market prices since the 1989 CITES ban. Biological Conservation. 237, pp. 392-399.

AuthorsSosnowski, M. C., Knowles, T. G., Takahashi, T. and Rooney, N. J.

Poaching associated with the ivory trade is estimated to cause an 8% annual loss in the world elephant population. Although international trade in ivory was banned by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in 1989, elephant populations continue to suffer. Together with global price data on ivory transactions, information on ivory product type, weight, region, legality of sale, and year of transaction, were used alongside an ivory Transaction Index (TI) and world gold price to: (1) examine the temporal and geographic trends in ivory price; (2) determine variables associated with ivory price; and (3) propose a predictive equation based on these variables. Results indicate that ivory price has been rising since the CITES ban, with highest values observed across Asia. Determinants significant to ivory market price include: (1) region; (2) type [raw, polished, carved]; (3) TI; and (4) legality. Interaction effects were present between region and legality, and between region and type. The predictive equation successfully explained 72.5% of variation in price. It is hoped that an improved understanding of the market mechanism will lead to more effective policy interventions, which can ensure a secure future for elephants as a species.

KeywordsEconomics; Trade; Elephants; Smuggling; Poaching; Threatened species
Year of Publication2019
JournalBiological Conservation
Journal citation237, pp. 392-399
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 2 (WP2) - Adaptive management systems for improved efficiency and nutritional quality
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online25 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted14 Jul 2019
PublisherElsevier Sci Ltd

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