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Elephants in the Dust - The African Elephant Crisis

See also

Press release (6 mar 2013)

Press photos (Zip file)

Summary (PDF 14mb)

Rollup (PDF 12mb)


The African elephant, the largest remaining land mammal on the planet, is facing the greatest crisis in decades. Reports of mass elephant killings in the media vividly illustrate the situation across many African elephant range States. This Rapid Response Assessment provides an overview of the current state of the African elephant alongside recommendations for action to ensure its protection.

Available online: English PDF | French PDF (40 mb)

Surges in poaching, the illegal ivory trade and accelerating habitat and range loss have put African elephant populations at risk. This Rapid Response Assessment provides an overview of the status of elephants, poaching and illegal ivory trafficking along the entire ivory trade supply chain.

Findings presented here were obtained from a range of  sources, including The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme, the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), the IUCN/SSC African Ele  phant Specialist Group (AfESG), the African and Asian Ele  phant Database, the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), expert consultations and a range of other sources.

On the very last day of the conference, an agreement was made on concrete actions to be made by a group of eight countries identified as the worst offenders in the illegal ivory trade chain. These countries include the supply states Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; the consumer states China and Thailand; and the transit countries Malaysia, Viet Nam and the Philippines. According to this agreement, the countries are committed to quickly develop national ivory action plans and to take urgent measures to implement and report on these plans. 

Launch of the report at COP 16 of CITES in Bangkok, Thailand, 06 March 2012



Nala - 06 Mar 2013
I just flipped through and this seems to be worth a read. Nice maps and photos, but quite shocking.
AFrican conservationist - 06 Mar 2013
Not a single African on the bench - and this report is about African elephants. Speaks volumes
Hon. Keith Martin MD PC - 07 Mar 2013
China must lead an Asian based demand elimination strategy for rhino horn, ivory, tiger parts etc if these species have any hope of surviving in the wild. CITES delegates should be working on this in earnest.
whenthewellisdry - 08 Mar 2013
Poaching for ivory is despicable and driven by greed and corruption. It should be stopped and these organisations are doing their best. BUT NOTE: 6 minutes in the media brief: 63% of elephant habitat will be destroyed by human activities in 2050...mostly for agricultural use to feed popuations outside Africa." Export. That is "happening in the background", and that is surely an even bigger lethal obstacle facing Africa's elephants without any dust. This needs to change, and only our own attitudes can do the job.
Christiaan - 08 Mar 2013
@African conservationist: Does it speak volumes? I suppose you mean the report speaks volumes, right? Or does the contents of the report not interest you? "sigh". Thanks for the loads of work to try and provide some clarity in this difficult issue.
Brandon - 08 Mar 2013
Hi: Has anyone conducted any research or interviewed those caught/arrested/sentenced in any link in the ivory trafficking chain? I think there would be loads we can learn from those involved in this 'industry', in order to put a stop to it...
Cynthia Ojeda - 11 Mar 2013
we must save these poor animals from human greed and hold the countries who allow their body parts to cross their boards accountable though fines and boycotts... starting NOW!!!!
Matt - 14 Mar 2013
Ben Janse van Rensburg, Chief of Enforcement Support, is South African. On far left.
Anthony Ruoro - 16 Mar 2013
CITES is not a conservation organization yet it is threatening sanctions on countries that do not stop poaching and smuggling which are criminal activities created be the rise in demand. Where there is no demand there is no killing. CITES needs to stop playing politics and confront the nations that are helping to maintain the demand. It is the nouveau rich citizens in these far east nations who are demanding ivory as a status symbol and as a speculation and investment objects. Elephants are not a commodity. There is no need to trade in wildlife for profit or greed. CITES unknowingly are helping the criminal syndicates to continue enriching themselves. Stop the trade and see what will happen.
audiodoc - 23 Mar 2013
complete FAILURE! Your lack of protection is a death sentence for elephants and rhinos. Hope you are proud of yourselves. Smoke and Mirrors. Don't even bother convening in 3 years, they will be no wildlife to protect.
alfahunn - 29 Apr 2013
Im sorry for whats happening this ?animals its soo shocking what human can do they are gready they have no no feelings
Moon - 23 Jul 2013
I just love animals! And another news… I just found out that Manila Zoo has a cute elephant named Mali, and she is the only elephant in the Philippines! She has lived there for almost all of her lives, for more than 30 years. The zoo should feel like her sweet and cozy home now. But then, I read some articles in, and I noticed that Mali is in fact sad and lonely! Look at her here: She is like a prisoner, who cannot spend her days with her friends, roam in vast territories, and have delicious adequate food! She even suffers from foot problems. Why does she deserve this? :( Please Help Her!

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