The Elephant in the Room
In the past, only adult male Asian elephants were at risk from poachers due to their tusks. Recently, a market for elephant body parts has developed leading to adult female and juvenile elephants to be targeted as well.
Christie Sampson, a Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) fellow and Clemson University biological sciences doctoral student, is the lead author of New Elephant Crisis in Asia – Early Warning Signs from Myanmar published in PLOS ONE, which brought this information into the public eye. SCBI provided Christie with the means to uncover the increased poaching rates in order to take steps towards protecting the endangered elephants.
To read more about Christie’s research, click here.