Office of Law Enforcement
Protecting Wildlife and Plant Resources
U.S. Ivory Crush at NY Time Square banner. Credit: USFWS

rotating images: 1. Pile of illegal ivory products. 2. Pile of ivory products on conveyor belt ready to be crushed. 3. Crushed ivory coming out of truck. 4. Supporters holding signs at Times Square. 5. Construction hat with USFWS logo and The U.S. #ivorycrush at Times Square Credit: USFWS

2015 Ivory Crush


Help Crush Wildlife Trafficking and Stamp Out Extinction

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The stamp is available for purchase at post offices and online at: USPS Save Vanishing SpeciesTM. The proceeds made from the stamp will be used directly to save endangered animals in the wild today and conserve some of the world’s most iconic and threatened species.

Find more information about the tiger stamp at: www.tigerstamp.com.



Behind the 2013 Crush

 

On the morning of June 19, 2015, in Times Square, New York City, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with wildlife and conservation partners, hosted its second ivory crush event. One ton of ivory we seized during an undercover operation, plus other ivory from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, was crushed in front of VIPs and the general public.

Why Crush Ivory?

Crushing our ivory sends a message to ivory traffickers and their customers that the United States will not tolerate this illegal trade. This crush will also educate consumers, in the United States and around the world, and urge them not to buy products made with ivory that could be contributing to the poaching crisis.

Our first crush took place in Denver, Colorado, on November 14, 2013. We destroyed six tons of elephant ivory that was seized over the years by our law enforcement special agents and wildlife inspectors in connection with violations of U.S. wildlife laws and treaties. Since that crush, several governments throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, have also destroyed ivory, joining with us to highlight this worldwide crisis and emphasizing that only a worldwide solution will stop wildlife poaching.

The Poaching Crisis

Elephant poaching is at its highest level in decades and now exceeds the species’ reproductive potential. Elephants are being slaughtered across Africa to meet the demand for ivory faster than they can reproduce.

The poaching crisis not only takes a toll on wildlife, it affects communities as well. Insurgents and organized crime groups cash in on the money to be made from ivory, killing tens of thousands of elephants while gunning down park rangers who work to protect them. This wholesale slaughter of elephants is a destabilizing force for African range states that rely heavily on wildlife tourism. Many of the organized criminal gangs at the center of the trafficking rings are also implicated in the trafficking of drugs, arms, and even people.

What can you do to help?

The United States is among the world’s largest consumers of wildlife products – both legal and illegal. We have a significant ivory market, and we must continue to be vigilant in combating illegal ivory trade. You can help by not buying items that contain elephant ivory and by spreading this message to your family and friends. The work of law enforcement is an important part of the overall effort to stop wildlife poaching, but the only way to truly stop this slaughter is by ending consumer demand for ivory.

Crush Partners

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is grateful to the following organizing partners in the Ivory Crush at Times Square: Wildlife Conservation Society, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Powerscreen; and to our other partners in the Crush and the effort to end wildlife trafficking: African Wildlife Foundation, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Natural Resources Defense Council, and World Wildlife Fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Crush

About the Poaching Crisis

Media Resources

06/19/2015 News Release

Flickr Gallery

National Geographic PSA for Time Square

Event B-roll

Livestream Video

Biographies

Event Speaker Biographies

Celebrity Guest Biographies

FWS Subject Matter Experts

Partner Subject Matter Experts

Quick Links

Executive Order on Wildlife Trafficking

Federal Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking

National Strategy on Combating Wildlife Trafficking

National Strategy to Combating Wildlife Trafficking: Implementation Plan

More about Wildlife Trafficking

Investigative Update

Eye on Ivory - Investigations & Inspections

CITES & Elephant Conservation

African Elephant Conservation Fund

Asian Elephant Conservation Fund

FY 2014 Key African and Asian Elephant Projects

FY 2014 African Elephant Projects

FY 2014 Asian Elephant Projects

Elephant Photos

About the 2013 Crush

11/13/2013 News Release

What Supporters Said

11/13/2013 Director’s Blog

Event B-roll

Event Photos

Ivory Photos

FY 2013 Key Elephant Projects

FY 2013 Elephant Projects

Last updated: June 23, 2015