The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has released the African Elephant Status Report 2016.
The report finds that between 2006 and 2015, Africa's elephant population has declined by 93,000 - 111,000 elephants, marking the worst decline in 25 years.
The report further shows that while poaching was the main driver of decline during this time period, habitat loss is also increasingly threatening elephant survival.
23 September 2016: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has released the African Elephant Status Report 2016. The report finds that, between 2006 and 2015, Africa’s elephant population has declined by 93,000 – 111,000 elephants, marking the worst decline in 25 years. The report further shows that while poaching was the main driver of decline during this time period, habitat loss is also increasingly threatening elephant survival.
Released on the sidelines of the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP17), the report provides an update from the African Elephant Database, including data from 275 new or updated population estimates.
The total elephant count in the database is 415,000 individuals, which is 93,000 elephants less than in 2006. The updated count also includes 18,000 individuals from previously uncounted populations. The report therefore estimates the total decline to be up to 111,000. The report also notes that an additional 117,000 to 135,000 elephants may live in areas currently not systematically surveyed.
The report shows that the surge in poaching, which started about ten years ago was the main driver of the decline, noting that accelerating habitat loss is putting additional pressure on elephant populations. Together these drivers represent serious long-term threats to the survival of the African elephant.
The document presents elephant census data on continental, regional and national levels, each including general statistics, current issues and numbers and distribution of elephants. Each section is introduced by a brief narrative overview that describes the overall situation in the respective region or country, and highlights the main factors that may have contributed to significant changes.
The report was produced by IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) African Elephant Specialist Group with the support of Vulcan Inc., a Paul Allen Company, Save the Elephants, and other partners. Aerial survey data was taken for the Great Elephant Census, which can also be accessed online [IUCN Press Release] [African Elephant Status Report 2016: An Update From the African Elephant Database] [Great Elephant Census]