African elephants ‘suffer worst decline in 25 years’ [Biodiversity]
- The number of African elephants has dropped by around 111,000 in the past decade, a new report released at the Johannesburg conference on the wildlife trade said, blaming the plummeting figures on poaching.
- It is the worst drop in 25 years.
- There is a disagreement among the countries over the best way to improve the plight of Africa’s elephants, targeted for their tusks.
- With Namibia and Zimbabwe, wanting to be allowed to sell ivory stockpiles accrued from natural deaths to fund community elephant conservation initiatives, Zimbabwe rejected the “imperialistic policies” of opposing countries, branding them a “clear infringement on the sovereign rights of nations”.
- Both Namibia and Zimbabwe boast healthy elephant populations and their desire to sell the stockpiles is supported by South Africa.
- Southern African region is home to 3/4th of savannah jumbo population.
- Booming illegal wildlife trade has put huge pressure on existing treaty signed by around 180 countries – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.