According to an aerial survey covering 18 countries, the estimated population of Africa’s savanna elephants is 352,271. Those figures show the population has decreased by about 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, and is continuing to decrease by 8 percent each year. Forest elephant populations are similarly in decline.
The decrease is largely due to poaching spurred on by the ivory trade. The aerial survey, funded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen, found 12 dead carcasses for every 100 live elephants, a rate high enough to have significant impacts on the population.
“Trade in ivory has been a driver of destabilization wherever it occurs in Africa,” Allan Thornton, president of Washington’s nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency, told the Associated Press. READ MORE.