Shocking Loss of Elephants in Gabon

Carcass of elephant abandoned after removal of tusks, Gabon; (c) Michael Fay/ANP

A study just released has revealed a shocking statistic - 11,100 elephants killed in just one area in northern Gabon since 2004. The study, by the country's National Parks department and partners, found that Minkebe National Park had lost between 44 and 77% of its elephants in this period.

Luc Mathot, Director of Conservation Justice, a wildlife law enforcement orgnaisation in Gabon said: “Unfortunately the multiple arrests made in recent months by the Gabonese authorities (see herehere and here) and information we have gathered on the organised traffic of ivory are confirmed by (the) data from Minkebe. Between 1000-3000 elephants are being killed for ivory in Gabon every year. A concerted effort is needed if elephants are to survive. The recent arrests and prosecution of a prefet and an officer in the gendarmerie are a clear indication of the Gabonese authorities’ commitment to putting this situation right."

In June 2012 the Gabonese government decided to burn its ivory stockpile in a show of strong political will and defiance to the poachers and traffickers who would profit from the death of elephants.

Full report on Minkebe poaching

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