China will ban all domestic ivory trade within the country by the end of 2017, the country’s announced Friday, in a “game-changing” move that wildlife campaigners say may help protect the species against poachers. This move is significant for the world’s elephant population, as conservationists estimate that are killed by poachers each year, mostly to satisfy the demand for ivory products in Asia —. A published in September showed that the savannah elephant population has declined 30% in the past seven years, mostly due to poaching. The survey placed the number of wild elephants on the continent at just less than 400,000. The first phase of China’s ivory trade ban will be implemented by the end of March, when the government begins the process of shutting down the country’s 34 processing facilities and 143 designated ivory trading venues. In , an official with the State Forestry Administration said that “dozens” of these organizations will be closed by April 1, 2017.