It was published online the week of July 1 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "It has immediate applications to fighting the illegal sale and trade of ivory that has led to the highest rate of poaching seen in decades," says Uno, now a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
"The dating method is affordable and accessible to government and law enforcement agencies," costing about 0 per sample, says the study's first author, geochemist Kevin Uno, who did the research for his University of Utah Ph. Not only can the method help wildlife forensics to combat poaching, but "we've shown that you can use the signature in animal tissues left over from nuclear weapons testing in the atmosphere to study modern ecology and help us learn about fossil animals and how they lived," says Cerling, a distinguished professor of geology and geophysics, and biology at the University of Utah. and Soviet atmospheric nuclear weapons tests in Nevada and Siberia from 1952 through 1962.
Lag times for ivory originating in East Africa are shorter, on average, than the lag times for ivory originating in the Tridom region (Cameroon–Gabon–Congo). 90%) was derived from animals that had died less than 3 y before ivory was confiscated.
This indicates that the assumption of recent elephant death for mortality estimates of African elephants is correct: Very little “old” ivory is included in large ivory shipments from Africa.
More than 90 percent of ivory in large seized shipments came from elephants that died less than three years before, according to a new University of Utah study.
Combining radiocarbon ivory dating with genetic analysis provides a picture of when and where poachers are killing elephants, useful tools in the ongoing battle against illegal animal product trade. bans come 26 years after a 1990 ban on international trade in ivory, aimed at curtailing the widespread poaching of elephants, whose populations plummeted in the 1980s.
By measuring radioactive carbon-14 deposited in tusks and teeth by open-air nuclear bomb tests, the method reveals the year an animal died, and thus whether the ivory was taken illegally.