Wildlife poaching has been a longstanding challenge for many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, a poor region rich in biodiversity. Recent large-scale poaching activity is affecting the sustainability of elephant and rhino populations. Trafficking is fed by high demand for ivory and rhino horn in Asia, and proceeds may fund armed groups. These trends have contributed to growing international concerns about the problem and a desire by some in Congress to reexamine existing approaches to combating wildlife crime.
African Elephants. The African elephant population is estimated to be between 420,000 to 650,000. Most known populations are located in Southern and Eastern Africa, where some countries report increasing elephant populations. The most significant recent elephant declines have occurred in Central Africa, a region that suffers from ongoing security challenges and limited law enforcement. In total, some 25,000 African elephants or more may have been illegally killed in 2011 alone.
Date of Report: October 21, 2013
Number of Pages: 2
Order Number: IF00003
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Wildlife Poaching in Africa: Overview for Congress – IF00003