Asian Countries With The Most Ivory Seizures

Seized ivory slated for destruction in the crush
Seized ivory slated for destruction in the crush

The majority of countries around the world came to an agreement to ban ivory trade in 1989. However, the demand has been rising particularly in Asia, and it has been fueled by the new wealth in China. All the illegal seizures represent a small fraction of the ivory smuggled. It is estimated that poachers may have killed more than 25,000 elephants within a year in Africa. In West Africa, 84% of the reported deaths of elephants were a result of illegal poachers, while in central Africa, it is as high as 90%. Habitat loss together with demand for ivory has contributed to the extreme and radical decline in the population of elephants. In fact, the absolute size of the decline confirms that past years have been the deadliest for elephant species. For instance, Hong Kong just announced how they had seized approximately four tons of ivory in containers on the ships from Kenya and Tanzania.

Asian Countries With The Highest Ivory Seizures


Most illegal ivory is shipped to China where it has become an investment vehicle and has ascended in value. For example, from 1989 to 2011, approximately 25,000-50,000 elephants were killed for ivory leading to an approximate weight of 90,600 pounds to be intercepted in China. On the other hand, China has been purchasing ivory stockpile sales from Southern Africa since 2008. Apparently, last year China recorded ivory sales of around $94 million where it increased by 170% over the recent years. Chinese demand for ivory has led to the slaughtering of hundreds of elephants in countries such as Cameroon.


Thailand has seized 47,100 pounds ivory between 1989 and 2011. However, Thailand has continued to intercept more ivories in the recent years. For example, four tons of ivory were seized in 2015 originating from Congo, in Africa. The cargo contained 739 tusks, which has made the Thai government initiate oversight processes so as to curb the trafficking of ivory.Recent Thailand ivory seizures came when the Thai government was ready to implement its Elephant Ivory Act, in 2015. The law required everyone in possession of ivory such as the commercial owners and casual owners to register their stockpile with the government.Therefore, Thailand government plans to uphold its alertness against the illegal ivory trade so as to make certain that recent efforts operate as necessary restraints to smugglers.


Malaysia was used as a transit country of large ivory seizures last year. The Malaysian customs officers discovered ivory of about 1.4 tons, hidden in shipping containers smuggled from Kenya to Cambodia. Always cargo carrying the intercepted ivory is altered to protect information displaying that it has come from Africa.18,800pounds of ivory has been seized in Malaysia since 1989-2011.

The Measures Adopted To Save The Elephants

In conclusion, the human population in Asia and Africa has increased since the start of the century. This fast growth rate has affected the grassland habitats. These changes significantly affect the future of the elephants. Conversely, there is the rise of more skilled poachers due to an increase in ivory prices. The poachers use airplanes, automatic weapons, and motorized weapons to kill hundreds of elephants, which sooner or later will make elephants extinct. Apparently, a complete ban on the ivory trade commenced in 1990 due to the worldwide concern about the decline of the elephant. Further, various governments have cracked down hard on smugglers and poachers, and even park rangers are permitted to shoot poachers.

Asian Countries With The Highest Ivory Seizures

RankAsian Country/RegionWeight of Ivory Seized Between 1989 and 2011 (in pounds)
3Hong Kong45,500

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