According to the Great Elephant Census, which was published in 2016, the African Savanna Elephant have suffered severely over the last decade and are down to a number of approximately 350 000 individuals remaining in 18 African countries. That represents a loss of 30% of the population in just seven years (calculated between 2007-2014).
Poaching for ivory is the biggest threat to African Elephants with about 20 000 animals being illegally killed every year* mainly for the value of their tusks. That makes an average of 1 elephant every half hour. The ivory is largely smuggled to Asia where it is carved into exclusive ornamental objects that are in high demand to be used as status symbols.
The African Elephant is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) with populations in Southern Africa still relatively stable, while those in Central Africa are considered endangered. However there have been an increase in poaching in South Africa the last couple of years.
The Asian Elephant is classified by the IUCN as Endangered, with certain subspecies rated as Critically Endangered; for example, the Sumatran elephant which has lost 69% of its habitat in just a single generation.
*Source WWF Sweden
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