"2/3 of Forest Elephants Killed By Ivory Poachers in Past Decade"

"The threat of extinction is growing for African forest elephants, according to a study released at the Cites summit in Bangkok."

"The forest elephants of Africa have lost almost two-thirds of their number in the past decade due to poaching for ivory, a landmark new study revealed on Tuesday. The research was released at an international wildlife summit in Bangkok where the eight key ivory-trading nations, including the host nation Thailand and biggest market China, have been put on notice of sweeping trade sanctions if they fail to crack down on the trade.

'The analysis confirms what conservationists have feared: the rapid trend towards extinction – potentially within the next decade – of the forest elephant,' said Samantha Strindberg of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), one of 60 scientists on the research team.

There are about 100,000 forest elephants remaining in the forests of central Africa, compared with about 400,000 of the slightly larger savannah elephants. The total elephant population was over 1 million 30 years ago, but has been devastated by poaching driven by the rising demand for ivory ornaments in Asia."

Damian Carrington reports for the Guardian March 5, 2013.

Source: Guardian, 03/05/2013