African elephants continue to face threat from poaching


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African elephant populations continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high-levels of poaching for their ivory. Photo: CITES

The survival of African elephants continues to be threatened by poaching, according to the latest figures released on Monday.

The figures by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) were presented at the African Elephant Summit in Kasane, Botswana.

They have been compiled by the CITES programme for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants, or MIKE.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

The CITES-MIKE programme says that, overall, elephant poaching rates at monitored sites remained virtually unchanged in 2014 compared to the previous year.

However, the number of elephants that are being killed  for their tusks exceeds  current birth rates.  

CITES has identified 22 countries that are mostly heavily implicated in the illegal trade in ivory.

The CITES Standing Committee requested 19 of these countries to develop and implement National Ivory Action Plans.

Last week, the Committee recommended that all Parties suspend commercial trade in CITES-listed species with the DR Congo, Laos and Nigeria because they have not submitted their plans by the specified deadline.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

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