New from NPR! 人類濫捕，大象就要絕種！
New from NPR
Elephant Poaching Pushes Species To Brink Of Extinction
March 06, 2013 3:44 AM
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Eleven years ago, NPR sent a team from its Radio Expeditions考察 program deep into the forest of the Central African Republic. Their mission was to record the magnificent sounds of the forest elephant. And here's what they heard.
(SOUNDBITE OF ELEPHANT TRUMPETING大象吼叫聲)
MONTAGNE: The sad fact is that there's a good chance非常有可能 the elephants in that tape have been shot by poachers非法獵殺動物的人.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
A new study of African forest elephants has found their numbers down by 62 percent between 2002 and 2011. This report comes as governments and conservationists meet in Thailand to amend修正 the Convention協定/公約 on International Trade in Endangered Species.瀕危物種國際貿易公約
MONTAGNE: As NPR's Christopher Joyce reports, the study reveals that the forest elephant could be headed for extinction.瀕臨絕種
CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: African forest elephants have been in trouble for a while. But only now have scientists figured out that over half of them have died over the last decade. It took hundreds of researchers nine years walking literally thousands of miles, counting piles of elephant dung清點一堆又一堆的大象糞便 and counting elephant carcasses屍體 stripped of their ivory tusks象牙被拔出的屍體, to realize that the majority had been shot.
Fiona Maisels was part of the team that published these findings研究結果 in the journal PLOS.
FIONA MAISELS: We can see from seizures of ivory奪取象牙 and we can see from the number of carcasses that are starting to lie around in the forest, the elephants are in deeper and deeper trouble.
JOYCE: There's always been ivory poaching in Africa. But after a ban in 1989, the trade diminished減少. Now though, the numbers have exploded數字爆炸. Some 25,000 African elephants are being killed every year. And forest elephants living in the heart of Africa are really getting hammered成為被獵殺的目標.
Organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society野生動物保育協會, the research project found that the closer people and roads and villages are to elephants, the more animals die.大象與人類(以及道路村莊越接近，越容易死亡) They also discovered the corruption-to-dung ratio貪污與大象糞便比率.
MAISELS: The more corrupt the country the less dung there is國家貪污比例越高，大象的糞便量越少(因為都被殺光了).
JOYCE: Government corruption meaning officials who overlook坐視 or even participate參與 in the illegal trade非法交易.
But the biggest contributor最大的貢獻者(其實這是作者的反諷，這邊的意思是導致這些大象死亡的人) to the uptick數量上揚 in elephant killing is a huge spike大幅上升 in demand for ivory in China, where new wealth新富階級 means more people can buy ivory.
MAISELS: And this is mainly to do with the fact that there is a very big middle to wealthy class in China now中國大陸的中產階級與新富階級的人數變多.
JOYCE: Chinese collectors covet覬覦 ivory for figurines人物雕像, chopsticks, trinkets首飾. China is by no means當然不是 the only market but wildlife experts say China consumes half the supply of ivory. And a growing population of Chinese workers in Africa makes the trade that much easier. As a result, the price of ivory has shot up tenfold十倍 over the past five to seven years.
The Chinese government has promised to discuss measures to curb the trade at the CITES瀕危物種國際貿易公約meeting this week. But Maisels, who teaches wildlife biology at the University of Stirling斯特靈大學 in Scotland, says education is important.
MAISELS: Chinese students come up to me來找我 and say, wow, you know, what can we do, we had no idea. You know, this is the story that is been put out這是我們聽到的說法; that they're anesthetized被麻醉, the tusks are taken out and then they're patted on the bottom拍拍屁股 and sent on their way to grow a new set.
JOYCE: For 30 years, biologist Richard Ruggiero, at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service美國漁業與野生動物保護局, has been working with elephants in central Africa. He says the numerical death count is bad enough. But he believes this is an animal that is somehow aware that something terrible is happening to it.
RICHARD RUGGIERO: Behind the numbers is a real tragedy of a very sentient creature有感情/有感覺的動物(佛家稱之為有情眾生) who really knows that there's a genocide大屠殺 going on. They understand the concept of mortality. They show signs of mourning dead. They understand what tusks mean. They'll pick them up from a carcass.大象是有感情的高等動物，知道人類會圖殺牠們，牠們有死亡的概念，也會悼念亡者。牠們了解象牙的重要性，會將象牙從死象的屍體拿走。
JOYCE: Ruggiero says it's not just an African or a Chinese problem, it requires everyone to take notice to halt 終止the lucrative trade獲利驚人的交易.
RUGGIERO: Hopefully people will see the big picture, will see the aesthetics that elephants cannot and should not be reduced to numbers in a balance book of a business that trades in their teeth.人類對於美感的追求不能也不應該等同於殺戮與迫害這些動物，將這些動物的牙齒當成是獲利的數字來看待。