The NGO has 1,715 more endangered species than last year on its “red list”. And among these new entries, the African elephant whose current extinction is totally attributable to man, according to the IUCN.
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The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) publishes its news on Thursday, March 25 red list of endangered animals. It has 37,480 endangered species against 35,765 last December. And African forest elephants are now categorized as “critically endangered” and “endangered” for savannah elephants.
According to the IUCN, the number of forest elephants has fallen by 86% over the past 30 years, while the number of savannah elephants has decreased by 60% over the past 50 years. At the last count, less than 415,000 animals were counted. Only a few pockets in a few countries have allowed these elephants to stabilize or grow relatively, as in Gabon or Congo.
The main threat is man. It is responsible for the destruction or fragmentation of elephant habitat, explains Lamine Sebogo, from the African Elephant Specialists Group, interviewed by franceinfo: “Whether at the level of the savannah or at the level of the forest, you have industrial agriculture, you have major infrastructures, you have demographic pressure.”
The other threat comes from poaching. The pressure has been less in recent years, according to a monitoring program, but it still exists. And there is still some way to go despite the measures already taken in Africa or in the purchasing countries. “If these measures are reinforced with strong international collaboration and with funding assistance that meets the needs, I think we could reverse the situation”, explains Lamine Sebogo.
Today the export of ivory is prohibited in Africa but several large countries refuse the more protective international model of the trade convention. The decline of the elephant is the symbol of the shock in Africa between the development of populations and animal species.