What Is Being Done to Save the African Elephant?

To save the African elephant, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna imposed a complete ban in 1989 on international trade in ivory. In the United States, the African elephant is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and in 1989, Congress established a moratorium on the importation of the ivory of African elephants. These measures reduce elephant poaching.

The elephant population in Africa faces two threats: the illegal wildlife trade and the encroachment of the human population on the traditional migration corridors and ranges of elephants. Despite the ivory ban by CITES, the African elephant population is declining rapidly, largely due to a continuing demand for raw ivory from Asia. The remoteness of elephant habitats makes it difficult to police poachers and protect herds. Organization such as the World Wildlife Fund work on training and equipping law enforcement personnel to handle poachers.

As the human need for farmlands and settlements grows, humans and elephants come into conflict. Aside from agriculture, logging and other industries encroach on the habitat of the elephants and open access to remote elephant forests for poachers. The WWF and other organizations train communities and special wildlife managers to reduce human-elephant conflict.