African Elephants are one of the most heavily poached mammals in the world. Historic and ongoing demand for ivory is the leading reason behind their slaughter, with habitat destruction, fragmentation and rapid human development posing significant threats also.
The African Elephant Loxodonta africana occurs in 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, numbering an estimated 350,000 individuals across the continent. Although certain populations in Central Africa are deemed relatively secure, poaching between 2009–2016 saw a 30% reduction in population numbers. As illegal African ivory continues to flood into Asian markets, poaching still poses a severe threat to the survival of elephant populations across the continent.
of African Elephants have been lost in the last decade
African Elephants are poached on the continent every day
of elephant tusks were seized in airports alone in 2016
individuals are estimated to remain in the wild today
Despite renewed international commitments, gaps in policy, enforcement and anti-corruption efforts must be addressed if we hope to continue seeing elephants roam the wildTom Miliken, Elephant and Rhino Programme Leader
explore projects and recent publications related to our work within trade in elephant ivory.
Our USAID-funded Wildlife, Trafficking, Response, Assessment, and Priority Setting (Wildlife TRAPS) helps protect African Elephants through the provision of training, tools and forensics support to enforcement agencies, trade monitoring and analysis, and policy advice to governments.
The Elephant Trade Information System is a TRAFFIC-managed database of elephant-related seizures and enforcement actions. It was mandated by CITES in 2002 and is still used to analyse illegal trade trends and identify countries/territories of particular concern.
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