Overall, elephant poaching in Africa has been on the decline for five years in a row, according to a latest report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
The Cites report on the status of elephants and ivory trade shows that in 2016, the overall downward trend of elephant poaching in Africa continues, with significant declines seen in East Africa.
At the same time, 2016 records the highest level of seizures of illegally traded ivory by weight since commercial international trade was banned by Cites in 1989.
Cites secretary-general John Scanlon said: “Eastern Africa has been badly affected by the surge in poaching over the last 10 years, and has experienced an almost 50 per cent reduction in elephant population.”
He added: “There has however been a steady decline in poaching levels since its peak in 2011, and the analysis from 2016 concludes that overall poaching trends have now dropped to pre-2008 levels.”
Although the report indicates that Tanzania remains the region’s stronghold of elephant populations, elephant numbers recorded in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are also stable or on the rise.
In Southern Africa, Botswana still has by far the largest elephant population of any country in Africa.