Number of African elephants has dropped by a fifth in past decade

The number of African elephants in their home continent has dropped by more than a fifth in the past decade due to a surge in ivory poaching, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said Sunday.

There are only 415,000 elephants left in Africa, compared to 526,000 in 2006, the organization said on the second day of a Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) in the South African city of Johannesburg.

The decline in the elephant population is the most serious in 25 years, according to IUCN.

"Poachers have killed off some entire elephant populations in West Africa and could wipe out the remaining forest elephants unless Central African countries act now to arrest the poachers, prosecute the trafficking kingpins and tackle the corruption that allows wildlife crime to thrive,” said World Wide Fund for Nature elephant programme leader Lamine Sebogo.

Last update: Sun, 25/09/2016 - 12:05

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