Killing of elephants driven by the illegal ivory trade has reached crisis levels in Africa.
Across Africa elephants are being driven into decline due to poaching for their tusks, according to a report issued under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Data from the report shows increased poaching across the entire range of the African elephant, but the highest rates are in Central Africa. “The rise in levels of illegal killing and the dynamics surrounding it are worrying, not only for small and fragmented elephant populations that could face extirpation, but also for previously secure large populations,” the report says.
Last year is cited as having the highest poaching rates ever documented, exceeding record rates witnessed in 2010.
It is estimated that tens of thousands of elephants are being killed each year for their tusks, which are in demand in Asia. East Africa is identified in the report as the centre of illicit ivory transport to Asia, with an escalating number of illegal consignments exiting seaports there. More....