Rising threats from poachers resulting in substantial habitat loss have put Africa’s elephant populations at increased risk, according to a report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. African woodland elephants are especially vulnerable and African savanna elephants are extremely endangered.

African woodland and savanna elephants have been hit the hardest

The two species had previously been combined as one species and were regarded endangered by the IUCN. The number of African forested elephants has decreased by over 86% over 31 years while the population of savanese elephants has decreased by more than 60% over a 50 year period.

According to the IUCN, there are currently 415,000 elephant species in Africa, which combining forest and savannah elephants in total.

What the IUCN says about rising endangerment numbers

“With persistent demand for ivory and escalating human pressures on Africa’s wildlands,… concern for Africa’s elephants is high, and the need to creatively conserve and wisely manage these animals and their habitats is more acute than ever,” said Kathleen Gobush, senior evaluator in the IUCN team that produced the list.

“Africa’s elephants play key roles in ecosystems, economies and in our collective imagination all over the world,”Bruno Oberle

Savanna Elephants prefer more open plains from different habitats in subSaharan Africa, with Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe, in particular, offering big concentrations of elephants.

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