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VANISHING ELEPHANTS

Killing African elephants for their ivory is devastating a species that’s already losing ground to a growing human population.

ELEPHANT POACHING

In 2011 poaching hit the highest level in a decade, with the greatest impact in the central Africa region.

IVORY SEIZURES

Most of the world’s countries agreed to ban international trade in ivory in 1989. Yet demand has grown in Asia, driven by new wealth in China. Ivory seizures represent only a fraction of what gets through.

Each tusk icon represents 90 elephants, based on a tusk weight of 11 pounds, used to help calculate poaching levels. For comparison, the tusk at left is 12.2 pounds.

NGM STAFF. AFRICAN ELEPHANT DATA: CITES MIKE PROGRAMME; IAIN DOUGLAS-HAMILTON, SAVE THE ELEPHANTS; DIANE SKINNER, AFRICAN ELEPHANT SPECIALIST GROUP, IUCN.
IVORY SEIZURE DATA: TOM MILLIKEN, ETIS TRAFFIC. TUSK: SMITHSONIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, COLLECTED 1909