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article imageNew report on poaching paints grim and short future for elephants

By Karen Graham     Sep 25, 2016 in Environment
Experts are now warning that the African elephant could go extinct within the next 25 years unless something is done to put a stop to illegal poaching and its illicit ivory trade.
The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP) being held through October 5 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is said to be the largest in the 43-year history of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), with more than 2,500 delegates from over 180 countries in attendance, reports the BBC.
While the delegates have been addressing proposals that will impact more than 500 plants and animals, on Monday, the conference will focus its attention on the survival of the African elephant. There are growing international concerns over the surge in ivory poaching in the past 10 years, the worst that Africa has experienced since the 1970s and 1980s.
Sky News
And some countries have been harder hit than others. Reuters cites Tanzania, a country that relies on ecotourism. The nation has seen a 60 percent decline in its elephant population.
Readers may remember the recent study on African Elephants conducted bt the International Union for Conservation of Nature. According to the study, there are about 415,000 African elephants left in the wild. The actual count could be far less because some regions, such as South Sudan, Liberia and the savannah areas of the Central African Republic were not accessible.
New survey results released
New statistics on the illegal poaching of ivory were released a few days ago by The Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), the most comprehensive database in the world on the illegal trade of elephant products.The ETIS figures show that from 2007 until 2013, there was a constant rise in illicit ivory trading.
The InquisitrTwitter
And while there appeared to be a slowdown in ivory poaching in 2014, new figures suggest that this isn't true, according to Dr. Richard Thomas with Traffic, a wildlife trade monitoring organization.
Speaking with the BBC, Dr. Thomas said, "The indications were that the 2014 figure, it looked like there was a drop, now the 2015 data has been put in there for ivory it is certainly at the level it was in 2012/13 and that's very disheartening."
Will there be any elephants left in the wild in 25 years?
With anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 being killed every year for the ivory, it's just a matter of time before the magnificent beasts are gone. Do the math, folks. If elephants continue to be killed at the rates we are seeing, it won't take 25 years to bring them to extinction.
The Inquisitr quotes Dr. Chris Thouless of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. While he also claims that poaching is the major reason behind the declining elephant populations, he says that major infrastructure projects are also to blame.
"We are particularly concerned about major infrastructure projects that are cutting up the elephant ranges, this is a particular problem for road development in central and east Africa," Dr. Thouless said, adding that infrastructure projects are a small battle, while poaching is very serious and has to be stopped.
More about african elephants, Poaching, ivory trade, CITES conventian, Extinction
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