Elephants in decline as killings in Africa outpace births amid China demand for ivory: Study
Published on Aug 19, 2014 3:33 AM
WASHINGTON (AFP) - More elephants in Africa are being killed by poachers than are born each year, and the problem may be worse than previously understood, according to the most detailed assessment yet, released on Monday.
Using a newly refined approach to estimate elephant deaths, developed at Kenya's Samburu National Reserve, researchers said Africa's elephant population is declining at a rate of about 2 per cent annually.
"Basically, that means we are starting to lose the species," said lead author George Wittemyer, an assistant professor in the department of fish, wildlife and conservation biology at Colorado State University.
While the actual number of African elephants in the wild is difficult to know for certain, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates there are between 470,000-690,000.
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