Africa's elephant population fell around 20 percent between 2006 and 2015 because of poaching

Africa's elephant population fell around 20 percent between 2006 and 2015 because of poaching

Africa's elephant population fell around 20 percent between 2006 and 2015 because of a surge in ivory poaching, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said in its latest report. Switzerland-based IUCN is regarded as the most authoritative source on wild fauna populations and the report's release at a UN conference on the global wildlife trade will lend a sense of urgency as some countries seek to keep the global ivory trade shut while others want to reopen it. "This is yet another set of data clearly indicating that governments must take all necessary actions to address the crisis," said Susan Lieberman, head of international policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The IUCN, which drew on a range of estimates and census data, said it now had a fairly accurate count of 415,000 elephants in Africa in the areas where extensive surveys could be taken, down from over 500,000 in 2006. There are a number of regions where systematic surveys could not be taken and so it is difficult to say what is happening to elephants in such places. These include South Sudan, Liberia and savannah areas of Central African Republic. Losses in some countries have been staggering. Tanzania, which relies heavily on wildlife tourism, saw a 60 percent decline in its elephant population. Read more

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