New elephant study shows catastrophic decline in Africa - CNN.com
In seven years between 2007 and 2014, numbers plummeted by at least 30%, or 144,000 elephants.
And the specific cases are even more disturbing:
In the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, and Mozambique’s Niassa Reserve, elephant populations have plummeted by more than 75% in the past ten years as poachers cut down family herds, according to the survey.
The Babile Elephant Sanctuary in Ethiopia hasn’t lived up to its name: Chase and the team counted just a single herd of 36 elephants — the last in the Horn of Africa, a vast area roughly the size of Mexico.
“When you think of how many elephants occurred in areas 10 or 20 years ago, it’s incredibly disheartening,” says Chase.
“Historically these ecosystems supported many thousands of elephants compared to the few hundreds or tens of elephants we counted.”
The current rate of species decline is 8%, meaning that elephant numbers could halve to 175,000 in nine years if nothing changes, according to the survey — and localized extinction is almost certain.