Africa’s elephant population has crashed by an estimated 111,000 in the past decade primarily due to poaching, according to the IUCN’s African Elephant Status Report.
Released at the world’s largest wildlife trade conference, the authoritative report estimates that there are 415,000 elephants across the 37 range states in Africa – a huge drop since the last full update in 2006.
The surge in poaching for ivory that began approximately a decade ago – the worst that Africa has experienced since the 1970s and 1980s – has been the main driver of the decline, while habitat loss poses an increasingly serious, long-term threat to the species, according to the report. (Source WWF)
The surge in poaching is driven by demand for ivory’s supposed medical properties. This misguided and totally discredited belief threatens to drive elephants to extinction. If we can’t appeal to mankind’s better nature to save the elephant from extinction what hope do we have in saving more complex and arguably more critical assets like the rainforest or what is left of the UK’s ancient woodland?
These are assets that potentially hold the key to mankind’s very survival. The value of the rainforest in helping to lower global CO2 is well known and well documented. The animals and fungi that we know about and many that we have not even discovered yet have properties that (unlike ivory) really do have the potential to save us from disease, starvation and even alleviate us from the full impact of global warming. This counts for little as mankind destroys millions of acres of irreplaceable rainforest every year in the face of the growing global demand for beef, palm oil, agricultural land and development.
We all have to WAKE UP and come to terms with difficult choices, foregoing instant gratification today so that future generations actually have a tomorrow. We are facing the ultimate marshmallow experiment and guess what we are all failing.« Previous Post Next Post »