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Media release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Elephant poaching remains alarmingly high despite modest decline


1 December 2013 Although the number of African elephants killed for their tusks declined slightl last ear after !orld!ide recognition of the se"erit of the !ildlife crime epidemic# the rates remain unacceptabl high# conser"ation group $$F sa s% &' data released toda sho!s that an estimated ((#))) elephants !ere slaughtered b poachers across Africa in ()*(# do!n from the pre"ious ear+s record of at least (,#)))% -entral Africa remains the hardest hit !ith poaching rates t!ice as high as the continental a"erage# according to anal sis conducted on behalf of the *./ members of the -on"ention on International Trade in Endangered Species% Scientists sa the region has lost nearl t!o0thirds of its elephant population o"er the past decade# lea"ing little time left to re"erse its decline% 12igh le"el commitments to action against poaching and smuggling are beginning to ha"e an impact# but -entral Africa+s endangered forest elephants remain in peril#3 said Lamine Sebogo# $$F International+s African Elephant 4rogramme Manager% The number of large i"or sei5ures increased last ear signalling better detection# but also indicating a continued in"ol"ement b organi5ed criminal groups% 4ro6ections for ()*7 are e"en gra"er8 alread this ear o"er 9) tonnes of tusks ha"e been confiscated !hile in transit% Anal sts from TRAFFI-# a 6oint programme of $$F and I&-'# ha"e also found that smuggling routes are shifting as enforcement is bolstered in some locations% Although global shipping patterns are changing to e:ploit !eaker s stems# -hina remains the top destination for illegal i"or # TRAFFI- found% 1$ildlife crime is a serious global securit issue and participation b all countries is re;uired to stop it% In man places impro"ements are needed in regulation# enforcement# transparenc # resourcing and transnational collaboration#3 Sebogo said% <o"ernments are meeting this !eek at back0to0back summits in =ots!ana and 4aris to agree emergenc acti"ities to protect elephants from poaching and trafficking# and to discuss the peace and securit implications of this transnational crime% $$F is urging nations to adopt the Marrakech Declaration# a ten point action plan to combat illicit !ildlife trafficking launched b the African De"elopment =ank and $$F in Ma % >>> For further information or to request an intervie Alona Ri"ord# ari"ord?!!fint%org# @9* ./ /,/ */A7 ith a !!F e"pert contact#

$bout !!F $$F is one of the !orldBs largest and most respected independent conser"ation organi5ations# !ith o"er , million supporters and a global net!ork acti"e in o"er *)) countries% $$FBs mission is to stop the degradation of the EarthBs natural en"ironment and to build a future in !hich humans li"e in harmon !ith nature# b conser"ing the !orldBs biological di"ersit # ensuring that the use of rene!able natural resources is sustainable# and promoting the reduction of pollution and !asteful consumption% %o learn more about !!F )!!F*media' ildlife crime or& visit panda'org(&illthetrade and follo us on % itter