Friday, September 02, 2016

One third of African elephants lost in a few years

And obviously it's mostly due to poaching:

The African elephant population is in drastic decline, having shrunk about 30 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to a survey published this week. 
The deterioration is accelerating: Largely because of poaching, the population is dropping 8 percent a year, according to the Great Elephant Census, which was released on Wednesday. 
“The findings of the Great Elephant Census show clearly that poaching is still decimating elephant herds across Africa,” Ibrahim Thiaw, the deputy executive director for the United Nations Environment Program, said about the survey. “This practice makes no sense on any level — moral, economic or political.” 
Patricia Awori, an official with the African Elephant Coalition, said, “These numbers are shocking for elephants across the continent.” She added, “It proves that an urgent, cohesive, Africa-wide approach is required to save them.” 
[...] Poaching is largely to blame for the population’s downward spiral, according to the census. In an effort to curb the practice, the United States this summer announced a near-total ban on the commercial trade of African elephant ivory. 
David Banks, the Nature Conservancy’s Africa program director, said: “We knew that the situation was bad on the ground, but the results are worse than expected.” He added, “Even if poaching is stopped cold right now, it’ll take decades for populations to recover.” 
This makes me so angry and sad. How can anyone morally justify killing such majestic animals just to rip their tusks off??!

More at the source here.

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