INTRODUCTION: Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years, according to a new study published in the August 19 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It provides the first reliable continent-wide estimates of illegal kills. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants was killed by a poacher. The results of the study provide the most comprehensive assessment of illegal ivory harvest to date and confirms that current ivory consumption is not sustainable.
Main Photo: (Brent Stirton, National Geographic)