Elephant Poaching Remains Alarmingly High; 22,000 Slaughtered in 2012
New data shows that an estimated 22,000 elephants were slaughtered across Africa by poachers in 2012. Though, the number is a slight decline from the previous year’s record of at least 25,000, the rates remain unacceptably high according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
“Poaching is an organized crime that not only affects biodiversity but is also an economic and security threat. It undermines the stability of fragile states and takes from the poorest populations who depend on natural resources,” said Richard Carroll, Vice President, Africa Program, WWF.
“Governments need to work together to improve regulation, enforcement and educate the public about the consequences of the demand for ivory.”
Central Africa remains the hardest hit with poaching rates twice as high as the continental average, according to analysis conducted on behalf of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Scientists say the region has lost nearly two-thirds of its elephant population over the past decade, leaving little time left to reverse its decline.
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