Tanzania is losing its elephants
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?

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween56/tanzania-losing-its-elephants/

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  • Paul-Par
    6/09/2015 - 07:59 a.m.

    I wonder why elephants are killed for their ivory horns. Why can't people just wait till the elephants die of old age and then take the ivory?

  • Estella-Par
    6/09/2015 - 08:05 a.m.

    I read the story and it talks about how elephants numbers are going down because of ivory poachers. I thought about the 'Critical Thinking Challenge' and I think that elephant numbers have gone up because of tourists giving money and that poachers can't kill the elephants in front of tourists or they could call the police or take a picture. That is my answer. I hope that we can save the elephants!

  • Edgarrd-Par
    6/09/2015 - 08:12 a.m.

    I think that the elephants are amazing animals and I don't think they should be at this farm. I think they should be treated better than this.

  • ZH2001blue
    6/09/2015 - 08:39 a.m.

    My reason for the population for growing heavily visited tourist locations is because the many tourist it would be hard for poachers capture the elephant because there many people there.

  • SB662000
    6/09/2015 - 08:50 a.m.

    The population has grew in heavily toured locations because its harder to poach in front of a lot of people because there are witnesses and they could get arrested.

  • Lindsaya-Pav
    6/09/2015 - 09:56 a.m.

    Elephants are so cute and such fascinating animals, it would be terrible to see them go extinct. If improvements to the ban of ivory imports continue, then there is hope for these animals.

  • Annamariea-Pav
    6/09/2015 - 09:59 a.m.

    I think that it is important to take care of the elephant species that are becoming extinct. It is good that some people have banned ivory imports, and that some rangers will watch the areas that the elephants are roaming. The elephants can't stop people from hurting them, so we have to make sure we can protect the ones going extinct.

  • FrancoS2211
    6/09/2015 - 10:42 a.m.

    This article is sad. Elephants are important in the world and the fact that they're dying will affect us alot. People should raise an awareness to help the elephants.

  • coryp120
    6/09/2015 - 10:58 a.m.

    I dont see why people would poach elephants because thats nasty if you eat elephant. Just like the bald eagle. Poachers should stop trying to kill animals that are resorces that other people need.

  • Liligs55
    6/09/2015 - 01:10 p.m.

    i think elephants are cool they can do lots of cool things but i dont like when they get killed just for their tusk i mean thats not fear its like if someone kills you just because they want your leg

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