Location: Kruger National Park, South AfricaELEMOTION
Population estimates and poaching
Poaching significantly reduced the population of Loxodonta
in certain regions during the 20th century. In the ten years preceding an international ban in the trade in ivory in 1990 the African elephant population was more than halved from 1.3 million to around 600,000.
An example of how the ivory trade causes poaching pressure is in the eastern region of Chad. There, the estimated elephant population was 400,000 as recently as 1970, but by 2006 the number had dwindled to about 10,000.
The magnitude of poaching during 2006-2012 has been large, including some 3,000 elephants slaughtered during the three-year period 2006-2009 (an average of some 3 elephants killed per day during the period), some 650 elephants poached in February 2012 over the course of a few days in Bouba N'Djida park in Cameroon, and at least 86 elephants including 33 pregnant females killed in Chad
in less than a week in early March 2013 in "a potentially devastating blow to one of central Africa's last remaining elephant populations."
According to the World Wildlife Foundation
the population of African elephants in Southern Africa is large and expanding with an estimated 300,000 now roaming the sub-region. Overall, the total population of African elephants is estimated to be around 700,000 compared to the Asian elephant population of 32,000. Large populations of elephants are confined to well-protected areas. However, less than 20% of African elephant range is under formal protection.
Legal protections and conservation status
The African elephant nominally has governmental protection, but poaching
for the ivory trade
can devastate populations. Kenya was one of the worst affected countries with populations declining by as much as 85 percent between 1973 and 1989.
Protection of African elephants has become high profile in many countries. In 1989, the Kenyan Wildlife Service burnt a stockpile of tusks in protest against the ivory trade.
A number of states permit sport hunting of elephants. In 2012, The New York Times
reported on a large upsurge in ivory poaching, with about 70% flowing to China.
A major issue in elephant conservation is the conflicts between elephants and a growing human population. Human encroachment into or adjacent to natural areas where bush elephants occur has led to recent research into methods of safely driving groups of elephants away from humans, including the discovery that playback of the recorded sounds of angry honey bees
is remarkably effective at prompting elephants to flee an area.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) African elephant specialist group has set up a human elephant conflict working group to look at conserving a species that has potential to be detrimental to human populations. They believe that different approaches are needed in different countries and regions, and so develop conservation strategies at National and Regional levels.
Under the auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
, also known as the Bonn Convention
, the Memorandum of Understanding concerning Conservation Measures for the West African Populations of the African Elephant
was concluded and came into effect on 22 November 2005. The MoU aims to protect the West African Elephant populations by providing an international framework for range State governments, scientists and conservation groups to collaborate in the conservation of the species and its habitat.AFRICAN ELEPHANTElephant Sound Effects Kamahl - The Elephant Song
Keywords:AFRICAN ELEPHANT, LOXODONTA, antoni uni, elephants, fauna, kruger national park, loxodonta africana, mammals, nature, south africa
© Antoni Uni, el primero UniCo de l'Escala 2018