Ian Stuart Carlisle Parker (b.1936) served with the Kenyan Regiment during the Mau Mau Emergency before becoming a colonial officer. In 1956 he became a Game Warden with the Kenya Game Department, where he advocated the novel idea of allowing the local people to hunt rather than being treating as poachers. He resigned from the KGD in 1964 and started Wildlife Services, Ltd with his wife, Christine Mowat Parker and four friends as partners. While working in many areas relating to wildlife, Wildlife Services became best known internationally for undertaking a series of large scale elephant culling operations from 1965 to 1969 in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Managing the sale of ivory gave Parker contacts and experience in the ivory trade. He researched the history, scope, scale, and value of the ivory trade - market practices as well as the influence of political corruption and illegal trade on conservation practices. He became a recognized authority on the provenance of ivory stocks through forensic observation, and an expert on ivory distribution and markets. After closing Wildlife Services, Ltd. in 1976, Parker continued his work as an independent consultant before retiring to Australia in 2011.
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Ivory Crisis by Ian Parker & Mohamed Amin (1983) is an investigative account of the condition of the African elephant. The authors discuss how they arrived at their position and what the future might hold. Their general contention is that political chaos has been much to blame for the elephant's decline and that increases in the human population will probably cause final decline of the species in the long-run. A well-informed and thoughtful book which makes for a depressing read, especially with thirty years of hindsight.
African Wildlife Safaris by Ian Parker (1989) was compiled and edited by Camerapix and is... "The one, complete suitcase-sized guide to safaris, detailing the full range of wildlife to be seen, and including practical information on conservation, medicine and wildlife photography."
An Impossible Dream: Some Of Kenya's Last Colonial Game Wardens Recall by Ian Parker & Stan Bleazard (2001) is a fascinating collection of the recollections of 17 Game Wardens in the Kenya Game Department. They are the stories of tragedy, farce and hardship in equal measure with real concern for the animals, from early experiments in darting and relocating animals, to combating ivory poachers.
What I Tell You Three Times Is True: Conservation, Ivory, History And Politics by Ian Parker (2004) is part historical, part investigative and largely autobiographical. The author examines the perennial preoccupation of man with elephants and his pursuit of their ivory. The book exposes the web of deceit and corruption surrounding elephants and ivory, involving not only governments but also conservation bodies themselves.
Jua Kali's Voyage On The Jade Sea by Ian Parker (2004) is the former game warden's attempt to circumnavigate Kenya's Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolf. A not inconsiderable challenge given his lack of sailing experience, the size of the lake, its location in a remote desert and unpredictable weather conditions. Ian Parker and his wife chose to undertake this challenge in a nineteen-foot boat, the Jua Kali, equipped with an outboard motor and a mini-sail mast.
Page Updated: June 2021