African Elephant Population Plunges 30 Percent in Seven Years
Blame the ivory trade. A three-year Great Elephant Census attempting to count every pachyderm across 18 African countries has finally come out with its numbers, and they aren’t encouraging. Only 352,271 elephants remain — peanuts even when compared to the totals from the last elephant count in 2007. Until this census elephant populations had actually been increasing, but researchers say a poaching boom is likely responsible for the dramatic drop. And past studies have indicated that due to slow reproduction, the population will take decades to recover.