Africa’s elephant population has fallen by a massive 30% since 2007. A comprehensive country-by-country analysis by ‘SafariBookings.com, the largest online marketplace, examines the substantial differences in elephant decline in the 10 major safari countries.
SafariBookings.com conducted a country-by-country analysis to gain a better understanding of the rapid decline in Africa’s elephant population. Since 2007, elephants have been in severe decline, with the total population down by an alarming 30%, as indicated by a recent aerial survey – the most comprehensive ever undertaken on the continent.
Our country-by-country analysis examines why elephant populations are in decline at vastly different rates in the 10 major safari countries. It highlights these differences and explores possible connections, which include human population increases, GDP per capita changes, the size of elephant ranges and the numbers of illegal carcasses recovered.
Our analysis concludes that the primary reason for the decline is poaching. Less clear is why the decline in elephant numbers (and therefore the rate of poaching) varies so much between countries. Our article argues that the country factors influencing poaching are complex, inter-related, geographically influenced and obscured by corruption.
Some results of our country-by-country analysis include: Tanzania saw a decline in its elephant population of 63%, or 86,320 individuals, by far the biggest drop of any major safari country; this is followed by Mozambique, with a decline of almost 34%; while Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya showed declines between 8% and 15% in their elephant populations. During the same period (2007 to 2015), Namibia recorded a significant 44% increase in its elephant population.
Our analysis also found a substantial increase in illegal elephant carcasses. In the period from 2008 to 2013, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique saw an increase in illegal carcasses of several hundred percent.
Elephant population levels are falling fast – at around 8% annually. Poaching is undoubtedly the main cause for the decline. This alarming loss in elephant numbers can only be tackled through a specific country-by-country strategy. Such a strategy needs to be rapidly researched and implemented for the long-term survival of the iconic African elephant – before it’s too late.