According to a extinction risks to the world’s animals. Africa currently has 415,000 elephants, counting the forest and savanna elephants together, according to the IUCN.Union for Conservation of Nature, LIBREVILLE, Gabon, increasing threats of poaching and habitat loss have endangered Africa’s elephant populations. The African forest elephant is critically endangered, and the African savanna elephant is endangered. The two species had previously been grouped as a single species and were classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. African forest elephants have fallen by more than 86% over 31 years. In contrast, the population of savanna elephants dropped by more than 60% over 50 years, according to the IUCN, which rates the global
The savanna elephants prefer more open plains and are found in various habitats across sub-Saharan Africa, with Botswana, countries like the Central African Republic, where poachers became bandits, became rebels and destabilized the whole country,” White said, attributing the bulk of poaching and ivory trafficking to international cross-border syndicates. “Eighty to 90% of our ivory goes to Nigeria and ends up funding (the jihadist rebels) Boko Haram. So it’s a cross-border and even against terrorism,” he said., and Zimbabwe having high concentrations. The African forest elephants — smaller in size — mostly occupy the tropical forests of , with the largest remaining populations found in Gabon and the Republic of Congo. In Gabon, the fight against elephant poaching “is more than just fighting for nature. It’s fighting for the stability of our country,” Lee White, Gabon’s minister of water and forests, told The Associated Press. “We have seen
He said the battle to protect Gabon’s forest elephants is a war. “We have transformed biologists into warriors,” White said. “We have transformed people who signed up to watch elephants and work with nature and theinto soldiers who have gone to war for the survival of the elephants.” Criminal networks working with corrupt officials are a significant problem in central and western Africa, Rudi van Aarde of the University of Pretoria’s zoology department. He told The Associated Press. “Most of the ivory that leaves this continent for Asia is from central and western Africa. The population is suffering more because of the illegal trade in ivory instead of environmental issues like deforestation,” said van Aarde.
Africa’s elephants play key roles in ecosystems, economies, and our collective imagination worldwide,” IUCN Director General Bruno Oberle noted, lamenting the reduced numbers of Africa’s elephants. Sub-Saharan Africa’s elephants suffered a massive knock with a spike in poaching between 2008 and 2012. A worrying trend is that a substantial amount of that poaching occurred in, where an estimated 100,000 savanna elephants were killed in northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania during that period, he said. “Today’s new IUCN assessment of both African elephant species underlines the persistent pressure faced by the iconic animals,” Oberle said. “The results quantify the dramatic extent of the decline of these ecologically important animals.” “With persistent demand for ivory and escalating human pressures on Africa’s wildlands, … concern for Africa’s elephants is great, and the need to creatively conserve and wisely manage these animals and their habitats are more acute than ever,” said Kathleen Gobush, the lead assessor in the IUCN team compiling the list.