In a single decade between 1979 and 1989, half of all Africa’s elephants were lost to the ivory trade, according to pan African census conducted by STE’s Iain Douglas-Hamilton. Amid public outrage over the crisis, in 1989 Kenya burned her stockpile of ivory in protest at the trade and the world’s international wildlife trade body CITES banned all international trade in elephant tusks.
For the next decade the trade lay dormant and African elephant populations began to recover. By 2007 it was estimated to be between 470,000 and 690,000 (Blanc et al. 2007). But a new crisis was brewing, fuelled by demand for ivory particularly in China where a demographic and economic boom had taken place.
The forests of Central Africa are the hardest place to study or protect elephants, but it seems they were the first to be hit by the new wave of killing that resulted from this new demand. Between 2002 and 2011 Maisels et al (2013) estimate that the world’s forest elephant population was reduced by
As Central Africa’s elephant numbers plummeted the poaching pressure began to move to the savannahs of East Africa. In 2009 Save the Elephants recorded a spike in poaching rates in Samburu and published a warning in the journal Nature that East Africa’s protected areas were now in danger. Our worst fears came true. Our research estimates that the number of elephants killed for their ivory between 2010 and 2012 was
The demand for ivory in the far East is the primary driver of the killing. In the four years up to 2014 the wholesale price of raw ivory in China tripled, reaching a per kilo dollar price of
Save the Elephants works to secure a future for elephants, and is fighting hard to stop the killing, stop the trafficking and end the demand for ivory.
How You Can Help
Over the last years our world-leading conservation efforts have been possible thanks to the dedication and generosity of loyal supporters. To join them you can donate in a number of ways:
Elephants are facing intense threats to their survival in many parts of Africa. The Elephant Crisis Fund provides rapid, catalytic support for the most effective projects designed to stop the killing of elephants for ivory, reduce conflict between humans and elephants, and safeguard important elephant landscapes.
Save the Elephants is funded almost entirely by private donations. It is only through the generous support of donors that we are able to continue our important elephant conservation work. We rely entirely on funds, grants and donations from around the world, so thank you for helping us to secure a future for these fascinating creatures.