World Bulletin / News Desk
Reports say, the survival of Africa's elephants is under threat, with estimates suggesting more than 20,000 were killed in 2013.
Even though the poaching levels have decreased compared to the last two years the office of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) said poaching levels were far above the elephant birth rate.
Cites, which is based in Geneva, is responsible for regulating the international trade in more than 35,000 species of plants and animals.
The slaughter of elephants is rising in countries like the Central African Republic, where local populations remain on the verge of extinction.
"Africa's elephants continue to face an immediate threat to their survival from high levels of poaching for their ivory," said Cites Secretary-General John E Scanlon.
The report also documented an increase in the number of large seizures of ivory - of shipments over 500kg (1,100 pounds), in 2013 with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda accounting for 80% of the seizures.
"Large-scale ivory seizures are indicative of transnational organised crime being involved in the illicit ivory trade," a Cites press release said.
While elephant conservationists do believe that increased ivory confiscation is a sign that law enforcement is improving, they also point out that demand for ivory remains very high, says the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva
The Cites poaching estimates were based on data from 51 sites across Africa, which accounted for 30-40% of the continent's elephant population.Last Mod: 16 Haziran 2014, 14:53