Africa’s elephants are in deep trouble. Although there are signs that the situation is improving in places like Kenya, elephants are still being killed for their ivory at an unsustainable rate in other parts of the continent.
While in the long-term elephants are increasingly challenged by human-elephant conflict and habitat loss, it is the intensity and immediacy of the poaching crisis that requires an urgent and coordinated response.
Since the start of the recent poaching upsurge in 2009, it is likely that 20-30% of Africa’s elephants have been lost. More than half of the known continental decline comes from Tanzania, which in the mid-1970s held the largest elephant population in Africa. The latest estimates range between 419,000 and 650,000 elephants.
The plight of the elephant is serious. Our natural world is in peril and we must act fast to save the last remaining populations of elephants on our planet.
They have vanished from 80-90% of their historical range, and are now gone from between 26-33 countries that they formerly inhabited.