London (February 12, 2014)New data from the field in Central Africa shows that between 2002 and 2013, 65 percent of forest elephants were killed. They are being poached, for their ivory, at a shocking 9 percent per year.
This new data marks an update to an earlier paper in the online journal PLOS ONE on the status of forest elephants across Central Africa, published by the same scientists. Many organisations collaborated in the study which covered 80 sites, in five countries, over the twelve years of data collection.
The earlier paper, published in 2013, already had shown a decline of 62 percent of the population between 2002 and 2011 -- to less than 10 percent of its potential historical size, and that elephants occupied only a quarter of the forests where they once roamed.
The update, released at the United for Wildlife symposium today in London, was made by adding new data from 2012 and 2013 and using the same analysis methods as before.
"These new numbers showing the continuing decline of the African forest elephant are the exact reason why there is a sense of urgency at the United for Wildlife trafficking symposium in London this week," said Dr. John Robinson, WCS Chief Conservation Officer and Executive Vice President of Conservation and Science. "The solutions we are discussing in London this week and the commitments we are making cannot fail or the African forest elephant will blink out in our lifetime. United for Wildlife, which is headed by The Duke of Cambridge, is determined to work together to turn back these numbers."
Conservationists gathered at the United for Wildlife symposium "International Wildlife Trafficking: Solutions to a Global Crisis" are discussing ways to protect wildlife and combat trade.
Said WCS's Dr. Fiona Maisels, one of the researchers releasing the new
|Contact: Stephen Sautner|
Wildlife Conservation Society