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CITES, Elephant Conservation, Illegal Killing and Ivory Trade, 2012.
Uploaded on Monday 11 Mar 2013
Estimates of illegally killed elephants in 2011
Riccardo Pravettoni, GRID-Arendal
In 2011, approximately 7.4 per cent of the total elephant populations in African MIKE sites were killed illegally. This is a significant increase from 2010, when the average number of elephants killed was estimated to be 11,500.
Healthy elephant populations have a natural annual growth rate of between 5 and 6 per cent (Dunham 2012), or a theoretical
maximum of 7 per cent (Hanks 1973). Thus the 7.4 per cent estimated illegal off-take in 2011 indicates an unsustainable
trend of elephants being killed faster than they can breed.
If this trend continues over a number of years, current poaching
levels will lead to significant population declines across much of the continent.