KAMPALA, Although the outlook for elephants appears good in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, there have been dramatic losses of elephant populations in Central Africa over the last decade, with levels of illegal killing remaining very high in that sub-region, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Poaching of elephants in Uganda and other East African countries has declined remarkably and seizures of ivory around the world hit record levels last year, and elephant poaching in Africa declined for a fifth year in a row, a CITES report says. About 40 tonnes of trafficked ivory were recovered last year.

The report notes that while poaching killed 111,000 African elephants over the last decade, in most places it appears to be levelling off. The organization has welcomed the news, but sounds a note of caution.

“The global collective effort that is underway is starting to reap positive results, but we are certainly not there yet,” says CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon.

The report says the record weight of ivory seizures may be down to better awareness and law enforcement.

Scanlon says there was particularly good news in eastern Africa, which has been badly hit by poaching in the last 10 years.
“There has been a steady decline in poaching levels since its peak in 2011, and the analysis from 2016 concludes that overall poaching trends have now dropped to pre-2008 levels,” he says.

While the outlook for elephants looks good in Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, in Central Africa, there have been dramatic losses of elephant populations over the last decade, with levels of illegal killing remaining very high. It is now imperative for conservationists to drive home the advantage while the political momentum is available in many countries to combat poaching, adds Scanlon.

 

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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