African Elephant Species Redlisted By IUCN as Endangered

African elephants redlisted by IUCN
Africa savanna and forest elephants endangered species

In the recently report released out on 25th March 2021 by International Union for Conservation of Nature has revealed that the two species of elephants found in Africa have been put under the IUCN RedList of threatened species.

The African forest elephants have been categorized as critically endangered whereas Savanna elephants as endangered. This was due to the rampant poaching activities and loss of habitats occurring in the natural places where these elephants live.

The IUCN Red List now includes 134,425 species of which 37,480 are threatened with extinction.

In the 2016 IUCN assessment made, figures showed that there were about 415,000 elephants both species put together.

This is the first time the African elephants have been separately grouped as two species because research found variation in their genetics. In the past, they were recognized as a single specie but still were vulnerable.

According to IUCN, the decision to divide the African elephants into two species came into play after a collection of genetic variation evidence from experts. The Savannah elephants tend to like open area and this is why they are normally found in the Sub-Saharan African countries with grasslands and deserts. The African forest elephants prefer to stay in thick forested areas.  They are mainly found in the central tropical forest region and some parts of west Africa with heavy forests. Their largest population is found in Dr Congo and Gabon. These have had a three quarter decline in population since history recorded and only a quarter of them is left.  in the world.

In the current survey, there have been a sharp decline in the population of elephants on the African continent. For instance, there has been 86% dip in the number of African forest elephants over the last 30 years and also about 60% fall in the African Savanna elephants.

The plummet in the population climaxed in 2011 when poaching was on the surge. And also their habitats being turned into arable land and settlement area by local communities around.

Though there has been a very great decrease in the number of elephants in Africa over the years, the survey reveals that conservation efforts have been championed and the results are very promising. Decrees to avoid human animal conflicts have been put in place and also anti poaching campaigns and efforts are going one. For example, in some areas like Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area where the largest population of Savanna elephants are found, the population has been growing and stable. In the Gabon and Dr Congo tropical rain-forest area, the population of the forest elephants have been monitored and managed and stability is now evident.

The elephants have play an integral role in the world, they have important in the eco system and also in the economy through tourism. Their conservation must be taken so serious to avoid their extinction.