Poachers Have All But Emptied This ‘Sanctuary’ Of Forest Elephants

Posted by Talyn Brown-Wolf, March 6, 2017

Poachers in just a decade slaughtered roughly 25,000 forest elephants in Africa’s Minkébé National Park ― as much as 81 percent of the population in what has been an important sanctuary for the species, according to a new study… The park’s population of elephants fell by at least 78 percent from 2004 to 2014, according to Duke University researchers, who calculated the loss by comparing elephant dung surveys. The dramatic decline is a “startling warning that no place is safe from poaching,” the study’s authors wrote… Minkébé, a remote, 2,900-square-mile preserve in the central African country of Gabon, is a front line in the fight against poaching driven by the demand for ivory in Asia… “With nearly half of Central Africa’s estimated 100,000 forest elephants thought to live in Gabon, the loss of 25,000 elephants from this key sanctuary is a considerable setback for the preservation of the species,” lead author John Poulsen, an assistant professor of tropical ecology at Duke, said in a statement.


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