Elephant Tusk DNA Helps Track Ivory Poachers

Using genetic tools, researchers have traced elephant poaching and ivory smuggling back to a handful of cartels. It adds that that there are only some 400,00 elephants left globally and that poachers kill about 40,000 elephants a year. The University of Washington’s Samuel Wasser and his colleagues previously developed a genetic map of elephants in Africa by sampling elephant dung and, at that time, Wasser said he could take a tusk from an African elephant and pinpoint its origins to within a few hundred kilometers.