Orenstein, Ronald. Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis
Booklist Reviews 2013 December #1
It is a depressing fact that 8 out of every 10 elephants that die have been killed for their ivory. The situation for rhinos is even worse, with rising prices for rhinoceros horn and the escalation of killing in what had been secure and protected habitats. All of this poaching has been going on, and even increasing, despite the highest protection offered by international treaty (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES) and the international ban on the ivory trade. What went wrong? Orenstein, a zoologist, lawyer, and author (Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins, 2012), has worked for years on elephant and rhinoceros conservation issues at CITES meetings, and here he presents a concise and very readable history of the attempts to protect rhinos and elephants, along with the economic and criminal issues that drive the illegal trade in ivory and horn. Describing wildlife crime at this international level as threatening not only to the environment but also the overall rule of law, Orenstein's impassioned yet precise and well-documented text is a call to action. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2013 November #2
Despite bans on commercial trade in ivory and rhinoceros horn, despite laws and penalties against poaching and smuggling, and despite international treaties (such as the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species) designed to protect endangered species, the poaching of elephants and rhinos in Africa is at an all-time high, in large part owing to continued demand coming from East Asia. Approximately 25,000 elephants were killed for ivory in 2011. Orenstein (Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins), a wildlife conservationist, tells an appalling story of how persistent greed for ivory and rhino horn has drastically reduced African elephant and rhino populations. Crime syndicates meet the unrelenting demand by using heavily armed poaching gangs to raid Africa's wildlife preserves and national parks. Orenstein brings his considerable expertise to bear on this complex catastrophe, presenting all sides of some of the most polarizing issues debated today, such as legalizing the ivory trade. VERDICT This book, on a tragedy that demands worldwide attention and informed consumers, is recommended for all wildlife conservation collections as a companion to John F. Walker's Ivory's Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants.—Cynthia Lee Knight, Hunterdon Cty. Lib., Flemington, NJ[Page 110]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
PW Reviews 2013 September #5
Reduced over millennia from vast herds across Eurasia and Africa to tiny remnant populations in Africa and Asia, elephants and rhinoceroses are vulnerable to human predation in a way smaller, more numerous animals can never be. Now, politics, war and economics have converged to create an ecological crisis of epic proportions, one exacerbated by underfunded law enforcement and a vast network of poachers and traffickers. Conservationist Orenstein (Turtles, Tortoises and Terrapins: A Natural History) provides a short but informative guide to this latest phase of the crisis. The work has three sections: a historical context, both ancient and recent, and explanation of what efforts have been made to preserve the remaining populations; a discussion of what went wrong—an unfortunate confluence of misapprehension, human greed and political malfeasance; and what might be done to mitigate the situation. Orenstein rejects a simplistic monochromatic moral worldview, providing a nuanced perspective of the issues involved. Although the situation is serious and some species have already been driven to extinction in recent years, the author does not give into despair. He believes that some of these magnificent animals may yet be saved and that the means to do this are at hand. (Aug.)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC