Fewer elephants with tusks born in China

Jul 18, 2005

More of China's male elephants reportedly are being born without tusks because hunting of the animals for their ivory is affecting the gene pool.

A study by Beijing Normal University indicates the tusk-free gene that's usually found in 2 percent to 5 percent of male Asian elephants is now found in 5 percent to 10 percent of the elephants in China, according to Zhang Li, an associate professor of zoology.

"This decrease in the number of elephants born with tusks shows the poaching pressure for ivory on the animal," Zhang told the Times of London. Zhang says he's been conducting research since 1999 at a nature reserve in the southwestern Xishuangbanna region, where two thirds of China's Asian elephants live.

Unlike African elephants, only male Asian elephants have tusks and the larger the tusks the male elephant has, the more likely it will be shot by poachers, Zhang told the Times. "Therefore, the ones without tusks survive, preserving the tuskless gene in the species."

China is one of 160 nations that signed a treaty in 1989 banning trading in ivory and the products of other endangered animals.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Wives with more education than their husbands no longer at increased risk of divorce

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google made failed bid for Spotify

1 hour ago

Internet titan Google tried last year to buy streaming music service Spotify but backed off for reasons including a whopping price tag, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Thieves got into 1K StubHub accounts

1 hour ago

(AP)—Cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller, a law enforcement official and the company said Tuesday.

Microsoft CEO sees 'bold' plan as 4Q tops Street

1 hour ago

(AP)—Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella painted an upbeat vision of the future Tuesday, saying that the next version of Windows will be unified across screens of all sizes and that two money-losing units—Nokia ...

Recommended for you

Narcissistic CEOs and financial performance

11 minutes ago

Narcissism, considered by some as the "dark side of the executive personality," may actually be a good thing when it comes to certain financial measures, with companies led by narcissistic CEOs outperforming those helmed ...

Election surprises tend to erode trust in government

14 minutes ago

When asked who is going to win an election, people tend to predict their own candidate will come out on top. When that doesn't happen, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, these "surprised losers" often ...

User comments : 0