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The African Elephant And The Ivory Trade

Found in: science; social studies; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

One hundred years ago, 10 million elephants roamed Africa. Today, 400,000 remain. On average, an elephant is killed every 15 minutes. Tanzania, alone, has lost more than half its elephants in six years to poachers. Some are killed for meat, most for their tusks, even though ivory trade from elephant tusks was banned in 1989. In 2014, a kilogram of uncarved ivory was worth $2,100.00 in China. The tusks of one elephant have an estimated value of $21,000.00 dollars. However, the estimated value to tourism of one live elephant over its lifetime is $1.6 million. Elephants are also crucial to the ecosystems they inhabit, savanna and forest. The following lessons, resources, and infographics examine the threatened future of Earth’s largest living land mammal. The lessons and resources can be adapted for high school students.

Lesson Plans:

  • Protecting Elephants Students in kindergarten identify one reason elephants are endangered and identify one way that humans can help protect them. Aligned to TEKS Standards.
  • Active For Elephants ( PDF, 1.2 MB, 7 pgs.) Students in grades 4-5 read about the ivory trade.
  • Elephants Never Forget With this package for elementary and middle school, students examine and debate challenges that threaten the survival of elephants. The program includes teacher guides, lessons, activities, ivory history timeline, tales, artwork, crafts, coloring book, poster, and video. Program must be downloaded as Zip File.





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