The Great African Elephant Census has revealed that the elephant population across Africa declined by 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, mostly due to ivory poachers.
The census shows an alarming rate of population at eight percent per year, primarily due to poaching as 84 percent of the population surveyed was sighted in legally protected areas.
The most severe decline in numbers is shown to be in Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania with low numbers also seen in the DRC, Cameroon and Zambia.
The census formed the first ever continent-wide survey of elephant populations and was funded by the charitable investment company Vulcan Inc. owned by philanthropist Paul G. Allen.
“This was an extraordinary collaboration across borders, cultures and jurisdictions. We completed a successful survey of massive scale, and what we learned is deeply disturbing,” said Allen.
“Armed with this knowledge of dramatically declining elephant populations, we share a collective responsibility to take action and we must all work to ensure the preservation of this iconic species.”
“If we can’t save the African elephant, what is the hope of conserving the rest of Africa’s wildlife?” said GEC principal investigator and founder of Elephants Without Borders Mike Chase. “I am hopeful that, with the right tools, research, conservation efforts and political will, we can help conserve elephants for decades to come.”