BANGKOK (AP) — Top wildlife experts are warning that the illegal ivory trade is hastening the decline of already endangered elephants throughout Africa.
A report issued Wednesday at the 178-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, says that in the past decade, the number of elephants killed has doubled and the amount of ivory seized has tripled.
It says increased poaching, along with loss of habitat, threatens the survival of elephants in Central Africa, and is undermining previously secure populations in East, West and Southern Africa. It says an estimated 17,000 elephants were illegally killed in 2011 in African areas monitored by conservationists, and that the number in 2012 was probably at least as high.
CITES, the U.N. Environment Program and two other transnational conservation organizations produced the report.