Conservation Victory for South Sudan as First Ever Ivory Inventory Completed

October 2015

Inventory and DNA Sampling of all Ivory stocks and Rhino Horn Undertaken

Juba, South Sudan, 19 October 2015 – The Director General of South Sudan’s Wildlife Service (SSWS), General Philip Chol Majak, and US Ambassador to South Sudan Molly Phee, witnessed the historic completion of South Sudan’s first inventory of elephant ivory and rhino horn stockpiles last week.

The inventory included 133 elephant tusks and was carried out by the SSWS, – with the support of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Stop Ivory (co-Secretariat of the EPI) – using the latest inventory technology and protocols, in use by governments across Africa to improve ivory and rhino horn management systems.

It is hoped that the inventory process, as well as proposed training on protocols and store management to be provided to the SSWS, will help put the necessary structures in place for the safe keeping of the nation’s ivory and rhino horn stockpiles.

South Sudan has one of Africa’s largest untouched savannah and forest ecosystems, but war and voracious professional poaching has reduced the once mighty elephant herds to what is thought to be as few as 2,500 animals.

South Sudan becomes the ninth country to have inventoried its ivory stockpiles since the launch of the African-led Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) 18 months ago.

South Sudan is working hard to secure its wildlife populations in the context of political and armed conflict. The ivory inventory is part of a comprehensive anti-trafficking strategy that the Ministry of Wildlife and WCS are working to implement to halt illicit trafficking and secure vulnerable wildlife populations.
— Michael Lopidia, WCS South Sudan’s Deputy Director