When Craigslist killed Dumbo

Date: 2015-07-26 08:21

From: Joseph HH – Avaaz <avaaz@avaaz.org>

Dear pbnb reader,

Experts say the majestic African elephant could be extinct in the wild within a decade. A website where many of us hunt for used furniture or apartment deals is helping to hammer the nail in the coffin.

A new study found a flourishing black market for ivory on Craigslist, and no way to know where it comes from, despite laws and treaties banning or tightly restricting the trade. The appetite for ivory that’s killing elephants across Africa and Asia is often blamed on consumers in China or Hong Kong, but conservation groups say North America is the second largest ivory retail market in the world.

If Craigslist wants our business, they should enforce their own policy, and block ivory sales. Let’s help give elephants a fighting chance by demanding they do. The more ruckus we raise, the more leverage we’ll have in negotiating with the company to do the right thing. Sign now and pass it on:


Craigslist is one of the most popular pages on the web, with 50 billion page views and 80 million new postings each month, so it’s no surprise then that people looking to profit off the trade, often militant groups and international criminal syndicates, gravitate there. Wildlife groups found that despite a policy prohibiting ivory sales, sellers are still unloading ivory in major markets across the US, mostly without any documentation or proof of provenance.

This is just one of the reasons our friends at the Wildlife Conservation Society say that 96 elephants are killed every day in Africa — one almost every 15 minutes. And why when Craigslist turns a bind eye to ivory sales on the site, there’s no way to know if ivory trinkets are “antique” — or hacked off the head of a dead elephant by poachers last year.

Craigslist has added ivory to their list of explicitly banned items, but without enforcement it’s an empty gesture. They could do much more; like set up an aggressive monitoring system to find, and take down, ivory ads, and report illegal sales to the authorities. Let’s tell Craigslist to take these no-brainer next steps right away. Sign here and we’ll make sure the message gets through directly to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster:


This fight won’t be won overnight, but we also have a weapon up our sleeve; a dedicated elephant protection fund created by tens of thousands of Avaaz members across the world. In the months ahead we’ll be mustering significant resources against the ivory traffickers, and the businesses that enable them by looking the other way. Watch this space!

With hope and determination,

Joseph, Rewan, Danny, Andrew, Emma and the whole Avaaz team
More Information:

How smugglers move black market ivory on Craigslist

Elephant vs. Mouse: An investigation of the ivory trade on Craigslit

To Stem Thriving Online U.S. Ivory Market, Stronger Laws and Enforcement Needed, Says Author of New Report

100,000 Elephants Killed by Poachers in Just Three Years, Landmark Analysis Finds

96 Elephants are killed in Africa every day (Wildlife Conservation Society)

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