Most people would agree that an already extinct animal doesn't need protected status. Some Jurassic Park sci-fi aside, the woolly mammoth is gone. Paperwork and a new designation cannot bring back a species.
According to some advocacy groups, however, such an action could help protect the woolly mammoth's closest living relative: the African elephant.
A new proposal by Israel "would close a loophole that enables the trafficking of illegal elephant ivory under the guise of legal mammoth ivory, which is almost identical in appearance."
In a statement, Iris Ho, senior specialist in wildlife programmes and policy at Human Society Internation had this to say:
“They are often intermingled in shipment and retail displays, and are fashioned in a similar style. To the untrained eye it’s very difficult to distinguish between them. There is currently no international regulatory regime to track and monitor the commercial trade in mammoth ivory.”
If the proposal were to pass, it would make it impossible for dealers to claim they were selling mammoth ivory or for traffickers to claim they believed they were buying mammoth ivory as mammoth ivory would be illegal to buy and sell.
Just another way that people are getting creative to try and save our favorite species.