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In a historical move, Hong Kong announced Wednesday that it plans to ban the domestic ivory trade.In a historical move, Hong Kong announced Wednesday that it plans to ban the domestic ivory trade.

Report: Ivory Price Plummets in China

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Less than three months after the U.S. and China pledged to end the ivory trade, a new report says the price of ivory has dropped in China.

Kenya-based Save the Elephants said on Monday that, despite increasing ivory prices from 2010 to 2014, raw ivory prices in China have fallen by half over the past 18 months — from $2,100 per kilogram to $1,100.

Researchers Esmond Martin and Lucy Vigne surveyed eight Chinese cities that indicated consumer demand for ivory is in apparent free-fall. A full report of their findings will  be released next month from Save the Elephants.

“The news gives cautious hope that the unsustainable killing of Africa’s elephants – driven by demand for their tusks – may eventually be reduced,” the organization said.

The report comes after major steps taken by China to reduce both the legal and illegal ivory trades, including a slew of celebrities fronting campaigns to end the illegal poaching occurring in Africa. However a total ban has not been put in place in the country — yet.

“The ivory price collapse in China is much-needed good news for Africa’s elephants,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights in a statement. “Though there is much work to be done, this is an essential first step in ending the poaching crisis. The banning of the market in China and the United States puts pressure on Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan to follow suit, and should encourage improved enforcement efforts in Africa, in places like Kenya and Tanzania.”

It’s estimated that an elephant is illegally killed every fifteen minutes in Africa, with more than 30,000 of them killed per year for their tusks.

Photo: Shutterstock

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