Elephant Poaching Essay

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An elephant is killed every 15 minutes and now some believe that in 12 years the elephant population will be extinct. This is due to habitat destruction, disease but mostly the illegal poaching of elephants for their ivory (Gandelman, 2013). This poaching has caused the population to rapidly decline and the threat of extinction is near. Elephants are an essential part of the ecosystem and existing and new ways to restore the population should be considered. Between the years of 1970 and 1990, thousands of elephants were killed by poachers to collect their ivory from the elephant’s tusks (Hamilton, 2016). In 2011, 8% of the elephant population was killed due to illegal poaching and in 2013, about 20,000 elephants were killed. In Africa’s Bouba N’Djida National Park, 50% …show more content…
Most of the illegal trading of ivory happens in China, India and Thailand. Prices in China tripled between 2010 and 2014, which increased poaching tremendously (World Elephant Day, 2016). While the demand for ivory worldwide is declining, the demand in these countries is still on the rise, which continues to put elephants in danger ("Research Paper - Elephant Poaching," n.d.). Not only are the poachers destroying the population, but elephants have a very low birth rate and a high infant mortality rate. Of the 141 births recorded by European zoos in between 1902 and 1996, 37% died in the first year, 48% were stillborn and 27% were killed by their mothers (Rees, 2003, p. 20). Another reason the elephant species are having a hard time keeping up their population numbers is the fact that there are many more females than males which makes the natural breeding of new life difficult (Wittemyer et al., 2014, p. 13118). Female elephants run in groups of 6 to 12 and when a male elephant is ready to mate he will approach the female and walk with the pack until she accepts him ("Elephant Family Structure," n.d.). Because of this

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