THE savanna elephant and the African elephantor forest animals have entered the category of endangered animals due to the ivory poaching and the significant loss of its habitat due to human activities. (See also: Boyacá, land of páramos and heroes)
Both species of elephants were added today to the “Red List” of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a document that includes all endangered species and is widely used in the conservation environment.
The number of African forest elephants has fallen by 86% in 31 years and those of the savanna by 60% in the last half century, according to the organization, which has estimated that there are 415,000 copies of both species left on the planet.
The former is now considered “critically endangered”, while the latter is in the lower category of “endangered”, as a result of the first assessment that has been made of these species separately.
Scientists have succeeded in establishing that African forest elephants inhabit the rainforests of Central Africa and in West africa and they do not coincide with the other species, which is usually found in the grasslands and deserts of Sub-Saharan Africa.
The forest elephant now occupies a quarter of its historical territory and its largest populations can be found in Gabon and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thanks to conservation efforts, which have included measures against poaching and the conversion of their habitats.
The Kavango-Zambezi Transboundary Conservation Area (area of convergence of five countries in southern Africa) is home to the largest subpopulation of savanna elephants on the continent. The IUCN “Red List” includes 134,425 species of which 37,480 are in danger of extinction.
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