Illegal poaching majorly responsible for alarming decline in African elephant population: Great Elephant Census

Illegal poaching majorly responsible for alarming decline in African elephant population: Great Elephant Census

The Great Elephant Census carried out over three years has found that between 2007 and 2014, the population of African elephants has declined by almost a third. In just seven years, the population has declined by 144,000 animals.

In the census, aim was to count savanna elephant in 18 countries in Africa. The findings published in the journal Peer J, has unveiled that different methods were used to carry out the survey. Small aircrafts were used to fly over large areas; carrying out the counts and clicking photos of the elephants being seen.

It was assured by technical advisers that they are not counting the elephants twice. From the survey, it has been found that there are just 352,271 elephants in 93% of the animals’ range. One of the main reasons behind the decline in the elephant population is illegal poaching.

People use this measure to sell elephant tusks in the Chinese market. Efforts are being made by conservation organizations and governments to effectively ban and curb the global ivory trade so as to save the elephants.

Team member Andrew Parker of African Parks said, “A key component of this is not only counting live elephants but looking to really develop a master plan for elephant protection across Africa”.

After the results were published, a statement has been released by Ibrahim Thiaw, the deputy head of the UN Environment branch, said that elephant poaching does not make sense at any level whether it is moral, economic or political.

Parker affirmed that the results should results into new actions and brings change in the situation. There is a high need to come out of this crisis. The findings of the Great Elephant Census will help in coming up with new strategies.


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