Poaching of African elephants may result in species’ extinction by 2020

August 29, 2014 admin african elephant conservationTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africatunde folawiyo biotunde folawiyo executivetunde folawiyo profileUncategorized

Tunde FolawiyoConservation enthusiasts such as Tunde Folawiyo are no doubt aware that African elephants are now at risk of extinction. Last year alone, over 35,000 of these animals were slaughtered for their ivory. The ivory is used to produce goods such as jewellery and ornaments, and is particularly popular in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan. Current statistics indicate that if poaching continues at its current rate, the African elephant will be extinct within six years.

Worryingly, in countries like South Africa and Kenya, where wildlife tourism is popular, and conservation groups receive plenty of funding, elephant poaching is still a major issue. But the problem is even worse elsewhere, according to Rory Young, a conservationist and ranger; he says that in other parts of the African continent, such as Mozambique, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo, where little resources are allocated to the protection of wildlife, elephant populations are being wiped out in droves.

Other countries are now stepping in to try and protect what is left of this species. In April, the USFWS (United States Fish and Wildlife Service) announced that it would be suspending the importation of all African elephant corpses killed through sports-hunting, as its research showed that this activity was contributing to the decline of the population. This suspension has since been extended until December of 2014. Protesters of this ban argue that it will have a serious impact on the safari industry in places like Zimbabwe and Tanzania; however, their proposal to have the ban lifted has been denied.

Kruger National Park – one of South Africa’s most famous green spaces – is also doing its bit to fend off poachers. With an elephant population of approximately 16,200, it has up until recently, been considered a safe haven for this species. But in May of this year, a bull elephant was discovered in the park with its tusks cut off, indicating that poachers are now beginning to infiltrate this area. However, the manager of veterinary services, Markus Hofmeyer, appears to be confident that he and his team can nip this issue in the bud; he has explained that they will be allocating a significant portion of their resources to tackle this problem. These assurances will no doubt be welcomed by people such as Tunde Folawiyo.

Folawiyo is a keen supporter of wildlife conservation. For more information, read this interview with Tunde Folawiyo.

Africa's endangered animalsAfrican elephantselephant extinctionelephant poachingelephantsKruger National Parkprotecting Africa's elephantsSave the ElephantsTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africatunde folawiyo londonUSFWSwildlife conservation

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