Study Estimates 100,000 Elephants Killed in Last 3 Years
The continued demand for ivory from China and elsewhere in Asia has led to a dramatic decline in Africa’s elephant populations in the last decade, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Extrapolating from local population estimates, the authors estimated that 100,000 elephants have been killed in the last three years and that, in central Africa, the regional population has declined by 64 percent in the last decade. Read more about this study on National Geographic’s website.
Reportage photographer Brent Stirton documented the illicit ivory trade, and efforts to combat poachers, in 2011 and 2012. In his resulting story, “God’s Ivory,” Brent vividly illustrated the connection between poaching in Africa and demand for religious and cultural icons made from ivory in Asia.
Top: The largest mass killing of elephants in recent history took place at Bouba Ndjida National Park in North Cameroon close to the Chad and Central African Republic Borders from January through March 2012.
Middle: The preparation for the burning of 5 tons of trafficked Ivory recovered from a seizure in Singapore in 2002, Manyani, Tsavo, Kenya, July 20, 2011.
Bottom: Ivory on sale at government registered White Peacock Arts World, Beijing, China, November 15, 2011.