National Geographic : 2012 Oct
1 2 3 0mi 400 0km 400 Manila Surin Phayuha Khiri Bangkok Guangzhou Beijing CEBU ASIA MINDANAO MYANMAR (BURMA) INDONESIA LAOS CAMBODIA BANGLADESH BHUTAN NEPAL NORTH KOREA SOUTH KOREA GUANGDONG Hong Kong PHILIPPINES MALAYSIA SINGAPORE TAIWAN THAILAND INDIA CHINA JAPAN VIETNAM Most of the world's countries agreed to ban international trade in ivory in 1989. Yet demand has grown in Asia, driven by new wealth in China. e illegal ivory that is seized represents only a fraction of what gets through---and the number of large seizures has risen, evidence of organized smuggling syndicates. ASIAN ELEPHANTS Habitat loss is the greatest threat to the estimated , left in the wild, but poaching may be on the rise. SMUGGLING TACTICS Guangdong Province, China, 2009 A rented Chinese fishing boat returned from the Philippines with whole and partial tusks packed in five wooden crates. Bangkok, Thailand, 2011 An x-ray scan found large tusks, valued by authorities at $ million, in a shipping container of frozen mackerel from Kenya. Malaysia, 2011 Shipping containers of recycled plastic from Tanzania also held nearly tusks destined for China via Malaysia. IVORY SEIZURES CHINA 90,600 THAILAND 47,100 HONG KONG 45,500 TAIWAN 40,500 VIETNAM 29,600 PHILIPPINES 23,500 JAPAN 19,000 MALAYSIA 18,800 SINGAPORE 17,700 INDIA 14,900 pounds TEN ASIAN COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST IVORY SEIZED, 1 2 3 = , pounds seized Total weight of seizures in pounds by country or region* Countries or regions with the most ivory seized are in blue. *HONG KONG AND TAIWAN DATA COLLECTED SEPARATELY FROM CHINA'S IVORY SEIZURE DATA: TOM MILLIKEN, ETIS TRAFFIC. TUSK: SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, COLLECTED 1909 Each tusk icon represents elephants, based on a tusk weight of pounds, used to help calculate poaching levels. For comparison, the tusk at right is . pounds.