Elephants roaming the lands of Africa are always in danger of being met by poachers who want to illegally snag the animals’ valuable ivory tusks for the black market.
Fortunately, however, the Convention of the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) notes that elephant numbers in the region are beginning to stabilize.
Although the number of poached elephants in the region is still grossly high (over 14,000 recorded deaths in 2015 alone), an increase in the elephant population for the fourth year in a row illustrates that they’re reproducing slightly faster than they’re being poached.
The numbers moving in the direction they are also shows that the efforts to stop poachers are effective at helping the elephant species to survive despite the continued hardship for the species.
"African elephant populations continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from unacceptably high levels of poaching for their ivory, especially in Central and West Africa where high levels of poaching are still evident," said John Scanlon, CITES Secretary General.
"There are some encouraging signs, including in certain parts of Eastern Africa, such as in Kenya, where the overall poaching trends have declined, showing us all what is possible through a sustained and collective effort with strong political support."
Despite the positive words from CITES suggesting that poaching has declined in certain regions, poaching is still very much a problem and is a waste of valuable animal life.
The only way to fully defeat poaching is for more local governments to do something about illegal poaching and to help put a stop to it by imposing punishment for being caught in the act. Unfortunately, much of the region remains out of control.
Fortunately, the numbers appear to be moving in the right direction, and as a result, CITES is pushing local governments to enact poaching laws and to enforce them to save the species.