Some Good News for the African Elephant

Fifteen years ago, half a million African elephants roamed the continent. The animals were moved off endangered lists, and the population even seemed to be going up in some areas. Then, because of poaching, those numbers dropped. Africa lost more than 100,000 elephants between 2006 and 2015, the worst poaching surge since the 1980s, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A new study finds that the number of elephants dying from poaching is declining, with a mortality rate of 10% in 2011 falling to 4% in 2017. The cause? Reduced ivory demand, specifically from Chinese markets — the biggest driver behind poaching in Africa, according to the study, which appeared last month in the journal Nature Communications. It’s basic supply and demand, according to the study. The supply for ivory, which poachers get from the elephants’ tusks, is always low, but when demand is high, more people try to meet that demand. China banned all trade in ivory in 2017, which may have helped blunt demand, the study says. But trade and poaching bans in China and in Africa have also had the negative effect of driving the value of ivory up.SOURCE: CNN

Posted inNEWS