World Bulletin / News Desk
African ivory seizures hit a record high last year since trade in the material was banned in 1989 to avoid elephant extinction, an international wildlife organization said on Tuesday.
Nearly 40 tons of ivory were seized in 2016, according to a report issued by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
“Africa’s elephant populations continue to fall due to continued illegal killing, land transformation and rapid human expansion,” the report adds. “Global illegal ivory trade transactions remain as high as in previous six years.”
CITES Secretary General John Scanlon noted there has been a “decline in poaching levels since its peak in 2011”.
The report said elephant numbers had increased in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa but fell in in central African countries “where dramatic losses of elephant populations have been reported over the last 10 years, and levels of illegal killing remain very high”.
It added there was “evidence of ivory processing in Africa by Asian nationals for export to Asia”.
“Eastern Africa has been badly affected by the surge in poaching over the last ten years, and has experienced an almost 50 percent reduction in elephant population,” Scanlon said.
“But the spike in seizures of illegally traded ivory in 2016 may also be an indication that ivory trafficking has been influenced by the prospect of greater controls, the imminent domestic ban in several countries and anticipation of continued drop of price,” he added.Last Mod: 24 Ekim 2017, 15:27