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African Elephants Declining in Numbers

African Elephants Declining in Numbers

While poaching and the decline in habitat areas the Savanna Elephant of Africa is declining in numbers.  Back in 1930 there were an estimated 10 million elephants over the continent of Africa.  Since the year 2007 their numbers have declined by 500,000 with another 111,000 in 2016.  Today there is an estimated 400,000 elephants left across Africa.  While poaching is declining it is still a major reason that the elephant population is getting closer to extinction.

In Africa there are two sub-species of elephants – savanna or bush – the forest elephants are about half the size of the savanna and are suffering the greater population loss today.

In 2016 there was a Great Elephant Census showing that the population of elephants are down to 352,000 over the area – which is a drop of about 30% in seven years.  This census took place over 18 countries and about 295,000 miles.

African Elephants Declining in Numbers Census

The Great Elephant Census spanned 18 countries and 295,000 miles, making it the largest, most comprehensive survey of African elephants ever. But the results, released in 2016, were sobering: Just 352,271 savanna elephants were found across their current range—a 30% drop in seven years.  Which is the worst in decline in 25 years.  Over a decade the elephant population has been nearly cut in half in East Africa and 70% of the elephant population is still strong in Botswana and Southern Africa.

Most of the elephant clans are led by the older, single females of the herd where the clans can be made up of about 70 or more members.  Some males like to live alone out of the family units.  African elephants are very social creatures.