New figures released last Monday by the Tanzanian government about the country's declining elephant population show evidence of an ongoing crisis in Africa.
The numbers indicate that the number of elephants in Tanzania fell from 109,051 in 2009 to 43,330 in 2014, The Guardian reports. According to the nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency, in 1976 Tanzania had an elephant population of 316,300.
Other conservation organizations provide slightly different numbers, but most reflect the same steep drop in elephant populations in Tanzania and other African countries. A 2013 report from the Elephant Database also shows a decline in Tanzania, estimating that there were just 53,833 elephants in the country that year.
The reasons? Skilled poachers and an Asian market that is eager for ivory.
Read more about poaching:
• "Tanzania elephant population declined by 60% in five years, census reveals" in The Guardian;
• "The tragic price of ivory" in The Week;
• "Vanishing Point – Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants" from the Environment Investigation Agency.