POACHING NUMBERS DECLINE

Elephant poaching rates in Africa are declining, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.

Poachers killed an estimated 100,000 elephants across Africa between 2010 and 2012, a huge spike in the continent’s death rate of the world’s largest mammals because of an increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations

“We are seeing a downturn in poaching, which is obviously positive news, but it is still above what we think is sustainable so the elephant populations are still declining,” said Dr Colin Beale, co-author of the poaching study from the University of York. “The poaching rates seem to respond primarily to ivory prices in south-east Asia and we can’t hope to succeed without tackling demand in that region.” The researchers called for continued investment in law enforcement to reduce poaching, alongside action to cut ivory demand and tackle corruption and poverty.

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