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Oregon Measure Would Create United Front Against Animal Trafficking On West Coast

Back in the 1970s, Gens Johnson got really interested in handmade and regional art. She started buying pieces from shops in Portland and across the Northwest.

“I bought two pieces that were scrimshaw, and they were done on whale ivory and walrus tusk,” she said.

Scrimshaw is a kind of carving – typically of boats and sea life. It was popularized by whalers in the 1800s.

“I was concerned when I bought it that it wasn’t elephant ivory, and I really didn’t think there was any problem with it being a sea mammal product,” Johnson said.

Endangered Animal Products

Campaign To Stop The Sale of Products Made From Endangered Animals On Oregon Ballot

Elephants could soon be on the brink of extinction because of illegal poaching, and even though the trafficking of ivory is something that starts overseas, the products from elephants and other endangered species can end up anywhere.

In an undercover investigation, the humane society of the United States showed just how much a part of Oregon stores and consumers play in the trafficking of parts from endangered animals.

Overhunting poses extinction risk

Hunting is pushing hundreds of mammal species ever closer to extinction, according to an international study led by Oregon State University ecologist William Ripple.

In the first global assessment of its kind, Ripple and his fellow researchers analyzed data on more than 1,100 terrestrial mammals already listed as threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Oregon Statewide Ballot Initiatives

Measure 100: Sale of wildlife parts or products

Measure 100: Prohibits purchase or sale of parts or products from certain wildlife species; exceptions; civil penalties

Measure To Curb Endangered Animal Poaching On Oregon November Ballot

A measure that aims to curb wildlife trafficking qualified for Oregon’s November ballot yesterday (Thursday). The petition received almost 25-thousand more signatures than was necessary for the Secretary of State’s office to approve it.

The Save Endangered Animals Oregon campaign began collecting signatures after a previous bill to help endangered species failed in the state legislature in February.

Scott Beckstead with campaign says there will be consequences for those who participate in this illegal trade market.

Endangered species smuggling growing problem for Oregon

The recent arrest of a Forest Grove man on charges of smuggling endangered species points to a larger problem and a growing demand here in Oregon, according to federal agents.

At a warehouse in Wilsonville, investigators with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service store hundreds of items made from endangered species that were smuggled into or out of Oregon.

Former Hillsboro senator works locally to save endangered species

A former Hillsboro state senator is doing his best to save the African elephant and other endangered animals from going extinct on the other side of the planet.

Bruce Starr, a Republican from Hillsboro, is the chief petitioner and public face of Save Endangered Animals Oregon, a coalition of animal protection and conservation workers aiming to place a ballot measure before voters this fall which would make it illegal to sell products made from endangered animals.

Ballot measure would bar trade in parts from endangered and exotic species in Oregon

The Save Endangered Animals Oregon coalition said it turned in more than 150,000 petition signatures on Thursday to quality a ballot initiative for Oregon’s November ballot. The initiative would ban the sale in Oregon of products and parts from sea turtles, sharks, rays, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs and other critically threatened or endangered species.

Rare look inside wildlife smuggling sting

PORTLAND, Ore. — Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion-dollar criminal enterprise. This underground network of criminals smuggles protected animal parts to buyers across the globe, including in Oregon. 

“A lot of people wonder why would anyone want an orangutan skull on their mantel,” said Special Agent Paul Montuori of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Folks want what they can’t have.”

Humane Society of the United States collaborating on measure to stop wildlife trafficking

Pangolins, known as “scaly anteaters,” are the most heavily trafficked animal in the world, as their scales are sold as a traditional folk remedy in Asia.

“They are on the course to extinction if we don’t do something,” said Scott Beckstead of Sutherlin, the senior Oregon director for the Humane Society of the United States.