New data released by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species’ (CITES) analyzing the illegal killing of African elephants indicates a second consecutive year of decline for 2019. However, significant sub-regional differences – higher populations and more data from sites in eastern and southern Africa – are likely disproportionately driving the downward trend.
In response, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from Leigh Henry, Director for Wildlife Policy:
“Two years of decreased poaching is a much-needed reprieve for African elephants, which have seen a precipitous 90 percent population decline over the past century due to consumer demand for their ivory tusks. We can be hopeful that the poaching crisis is beginning to ebb, but the overall outlook for the species remains unclear. More data is needed from Central and West Africa, where the populations are smaller, to be sure this positive trend is representative across Africa.”