111 000 African elephants have disappeared since 2006
The latest report on the status of African elephant from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that some 111 000 elephants in Africa disappeared between 2006 and 2015. IUCN attributes this sharp decline to the expansion of ivory poaching on the continent, particularly in southern Africa. The situation in West Africa is unique since the sub-region, home to less than 3% of the total number of African elephants, is the only one with an increase in population between the 2006 and 2015 censuses. This exception is explained by the growth in the number of elephants in the border region called “WAP,” which is a protected area straddling the border between Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. Elephant protection, however, remains a concern elsewhere in the region, where, since 2006, 12 populations have disappeared in Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo. The regional conservation strategy for West African elephants, which was adopted in 1999, is now obsolete, as are the national plans that were supposed to be implemented. However, a new strategic plan is being developed in the region, based on CITES’ African Elephant Action Plan. In 2010, Niger was the first country to develop a national conservation plan within this framework.
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