In Kenya's SORALO and Shompole Lands, Samantha du Toit Takes Us to the Great Rift Valley

In Kenya's SORALO and Shompole Lands, Samantha du Toit Takes Us to the Great Rift Valley

Samantha du Toit (formerly Russell) was born and raised in Kenya. After completing secondary school in Nairobi she went to England to study Zoology and Psychology at Bristol University in England

Upon returning to Kenya, du Toit went straight into working in wildlife conservation with Dr. David Western, founder of the African Conservation Centre. Her first major task was to establish the baseline monitoring of the Shompole and Olkiramatian ecosystem, over eight years ago.

Today the Shompole Conservancy is a large privately operated conservation area in the south of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya. It is located between Lake Magadi to the north and Lake Natron to the south, on the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The conservancy was registered in 1979 and is owned by the Loodokolani Maasi with over 2000 registered members representing around 10,000 Loodokilani Maasai dependents.

Today, Samantha du Toit can be found at the Lale’enok Resource Centre, which she helped establish and now plays a major role in its operations. Or we might find her in the Nairobi SORALO office, helping to manage the affairs of the South Rift Association of Land Owners. This network of shared goals and objectives operates with complementary decision-making and objectives.

GlamTribal Jewelry Now Shipped by Amazon | PRIME Members Rejoice!

GlamTribal at Amazon Woolly Mammoth Earring Collage 91319.jpg

GlamTribal Jewelry Now Shipped by Amazon | PRIME Members Rejoice!

Our first 10 styles of GlamTribal Earrings are now shipped by Amazon USA. The goal is to move 90% of our GlamTribal inventory into Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon). International friends can buy the jewelry from Amazon.com, with shipping across the globe.

GlamTribal Jewelry and Anne of Carversville are passionate about elephants . . . like forever . . . like since I was a little girl. It was decades later in 2010, when I learned about woolly mammoths after seeing our adored former First Lady Michelle Obama wearing woolly mammoth ivory jewelry as part of a symposium on saving elephants.

At GlamTribal, we’re only talking mammoth bones beads in our jewelry. Nada ivory. Never.

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Debate ensued from day one — noted then on Tree Hugger — that promoting long-dead woolly mammoth ivory as an ecological, sustainable and ethical alternative to murdering elephants was a win-win for all parties involved in the debate. Almost a decade later, the significant supply of woolly mammoth ivory on the global market has not stopped the killing of elephants for their ivory.

AOC has tracked both sides of the debate for years now, most recently with the decision at the August 2019 CITES conference — also known as World Wildlife Conference — in Geneva to table the Israeli proposal to declare the long-extinct woolly mammoth an endangered species until the 2022 meeting.

GlamTribal Jewelry only uses woolly mammoth bone beads, and bone beads from other mammoth species.

Why We Need to Protect the Extinct Woolly Mammoth | A CITIES Conference Update

THE  VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY  (FRENCH:  LA DAME DE BRASSEMPOUY , MEANING "LADY OF BRASSEMPOUY", OR  DAME À LA CAPUCHE , "LADY WITH THE HOOD") IS A FRAGMENTARY IVORY FIGURINE. IT WAS DISCOVERED IN A CAVE AT  BRASSEMPOUY , FRANCE IN 1892. ABOUT 25,000 YEARS OLD, IT IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST KNOWN REALISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF A HUMAN FACE. THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY WAS CARVED FROM MAMMOTH IVORY.  VIA WIKIPEDIA FRANCE.

THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY (FRENCH: LA DAME DE BRASSEMPOUY, MEANING "LADY OF BRASSEMPOUY", OR DAME À LA CAPUCHE, "LADY WITH THE HOOD") IS A FRAGMENTARY IVORY FIGURINE. IT WAS DISCOVERED IN A CAVE AT BRASSEMPOUY, FRANCE IN 1892. ABOUT 25,000 YEARS OLD, IT IS ONE OF THE EARLIEST KNOWN REALISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF A HUMAN FACE. THE VENUS OF BRASSEMPOUY WAS CARVED FROM MAMMOTH IVORY. VIA WIKIPEDIA FRANCE.

Why We Need to Protect the Extinct Woolly Mammoth | A CITIES Conference Update

By Zara Bending, Associate, Centre for Environmental Law, Macquarie University. First published on The Conversation.

An audacious world-first proposal to protect an extinct species was debated on the global stage last week.

The plan to regulate the trade of woolly mammoth ivory was proposed, but ultimately withdrawn from an international conference on the trade of endangered species.

Instead, delegates agreed to consider the question again in three years, after a study of the effect of the mammoth ivory trade on global ivory markets.

Why protect an extinct species?

The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international agreement regulating trade in endangered wildlife, signed by 183 countries. Every three years the signatories meet to discuss levels of protection for trade in various animals and their body parts.

The most audacious proposal at this year’s conference, which concluded yesterday in Geneva, was Israel’s suggestion to list the Woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) as a protected species.

Specifically, it aimed to list the woolly mammoth in accordance with the Convention’s “lookalike” provision. Once woolly mammoth ivory is carved into small pieces, it is indistinguishable from elephant ivory without a microscope. The proposal is designed to protect living elephants, by preventing “laundering” or mislabelling of illegal elephant ivory.

Had it passed, it would have been the first time an extinct species has been listed to save its modern-day cousins. Most populations of woolly mammoths went extinct after the last ice age, 10,000-40,000 years ago.

Debunking Myths about the Impact of Elephants on Large Trees

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Debunking Myths about the Impact of Elephants on Large Trees

By Ross Harvey, Independent Economist; PhD Candidate, University of Cape Town. First published on The Conversation.

Elephants are often accused of being responsible for the unsustainable loss of large trees in protected areas. This is because they strip bark and break branches. They can also have a heavier impact through uprooting trees or snapping stems. They have forage preferences too. Marula, knobthorn and red bushwillow are among their favourites.

This type of behaviour has raised concerns over the effects of elephants on large trees in protected areas such as South Africa’s Kruger National Park. As a result, elephant populations have been managed to preserve trees and the environment in a static state.

Researchers Dr Michelle Henley and Robin Cook recently set out to establish whether elephants are in fact responsible for large tree mortality.

They did this by reviewing the science and evaluating how effective past strategies have been at mitigating large tree loss, given that such loss was typically attributed to high elephant densities. These strategies usually focused on controlling elephant numbers lethally, through either culling or hunting.

Forest Elephants Are Our Allies in the Fight Against Climate Change, Say Researchers

Forest Elephants Are Our Allies in the Fight Against Climate Change, Say Researchers

Forest elephant extinction would exacerbate climate change. That’s according to a new study in Nature Geoscience which links feeding by elephants with an increase in the amount of carbon that forests are able to store.

The bad news is that African forest elephants – smaller and more vulnerable relatives of the better known African bush elephant – are fast going extinct. If we allow their ongoing extermination to continue, we will be also worsening climate change. The good news is that if we protect and conserve these elephants, we will simultaneously fight climate change.