Tanzania is losing its elephants An African elephant grazes in Tarangire National Park on the outskirts of Arusha, northern Tanzania (AP photos)
Tanzania is losing its elephants
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The sharp decline of the elephant population in Tanzania, most likely due to poaching, is catastrophic. That's according to a wildlife conservation group. Tanzania is in Africa.

The country's government has just estimated that 65,721 elephants died there in the last five years. The report showed the number of Tanzanian elephants had plummeted. In 2009, there were an estimated 109,051. By 2014, the number was down to 43,330.

Steve Broad is the executive director of the wildlife conservation group TRAFFIC. He said it is incredible that poaching on such an industrial scale had not been identified and addressed.

The statistics back concerns by TRAFFIC in a 2013 report. The Tanzanian ports of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar have also become main exit points for vast amounts of ivory. That is according to a statement by the group.

At least 45 tons of ivory have flowed from Tanzania to international markets in Asia since 2009. That is also according to the conservation group.

Across Tanzania, some smaller elephant populations had increased. In the famed Serengeti region, the numbers rose from 3,068 to 6,087 animals. However, beyond the most heavily visited tourist locations, elephant numbers were significantly down.

Of particular concern is the Ruaha-Rungwa ecosystem. Only 8,272 elephants remained in 2014. That is compared to 34,664 in 2009. Those figures came from the government, the statement said.

"Tanzania has been hemorrhaging ivory with Ruaha-Rungwa the apparent epicenter. And nobody seems to have raised the alarm," Broad said. He urged the government to take action to bring the situation under control.

The Tanzanian government says it has added an additional 1,000 rangers to protect wildlife. But Broad said "there is a real risk that it could be a case of too little too late for some elephant populations."

In February, China imposed a one-year ban on ivory imports. The ban took immediate effect. The ban came amid criticism that its citizens' huge appetite for ivory has fueled poaching that threatens the existence of African elephants.

Critical thinking challenge: Why is it likely that populations have grown in the heavily visited tourist locations?

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COMMENTS (73)
  • Norap-Der
    6/08/2015 - 02:20 p.m.

    I think the population has grown in heavily visited tourist locations is because there is too many people for poachers to sneak around. If the poachers aren't capturing the elephants the population will grow.

  • Josephk-Der
    6/08/2015 - 02:27 p.m.

    I think that people should stop poaching animals and start taking care of animals that are almost extinct, I think some people feel bad that the elephants are almost extinct.

    • Luisv-Der
      6/08/2015 - 03:57 p.m.

      I agree with you Josephk-Der. They should take more care of the animals that are almost extinct. I hope they don't get extinct. To help they can collect money to help the animals.

    • aleenag-nar
      8/27/2015 - 10:35 a.m.

      I also agree. People need to to start taking care of them, some do already, but still, we need more people helping out with them.

  • joellep1
    6/08/2015 - 04:51 p.m.

    The number of elephants in Tanzania Africa is rapidly declining. A wildlife conservation group says this is due to poaching and is becoming catastrophic. The countries government has just estimated that 65,721 elephants have died in the last five years in Tanzania. The report showed that the number of elephants had plummeted. In 2009, there were about 109,051 elephants and by 2014 only 43, 330. I think it is crazy how the numbers of these elephants has drastically changed just because of poaching.

  • BellaS-Kut
    6/08/2015 - 06:05 p.m.

    speaking of hurting animals!, i just wrote a 3 page essay about neglect and abuse. its so sad how people think they can just get away with this. :(

  • Steve0620-yyca
    6/08/2015 - 06:59 p.m.

    The elephant population has been going down over the past years. Tens of thousands of elephants have been dying. Sixty-five thousand seven hundred twenty-one elephants have died during the last five years. Poaching is one of the main reasons why the elephant population is going down so rapidly in Tanzania. People also think that the income or flow of ivory into the country might also be the reason. Forty-five tons of ivory was shipped to Tanzania to be sent to international markets in Asia. The delivery has been going around since 2009. I think that the elephants should be well protected and cared for.

  • Eriku2
    6/08/2015 - 07:27 p.m.

    This article is about Elephants. Tanzanian has been killing elephants for ivory. Because of this they are running out of elephants. Some people are saying it might be too late. I think that they should have more protection for the elephants.

  • TreyBRed
    6/08/2015 - 09:25 p.m.

    I feel bad for those elephants in Tanzania. People should need to take more care of elephants so we won't have elephants becoming extinct. I can't believe 65,721 elephants have died in Tanzania.

  • TatianaR-4
    6/08/2015 - 11:25 p.m.

    This article is about Tanzia loosing elephants meaning the population is going down. People should mainly stop poaching animals and start taking good care of them. there aren't many elephants left and if they keep on dying they may become extinct. There should be an organization to raise money and save all of these poor elephants. they are won't hurt anyone so i think they deserve to be alive like any other human. So if the poachers will stop capturing all of the elephants the population will not go down it will grow! And if you think about it would you like yo go for example a zoo close bye or a circus and not see all go the elephants and the trick they can do ? I know i would not be happy if i didn't get to see all the things elephants have to offer !

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