Biodiversity and Extinction
Tanzania may have lost half its elephant population since 2007. Elephants could be wiped out entirely in just seven years. Adding to the poaching crisis, there has been loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity as a result of fragmentation and loss of critical ecosystem linkages and over-exploitation of the natural habitats. This loss of habitat brings humans and wildlife into more and more conflict over food, water and space–which means more bloodshed.
Tanzania’s elephant population declined from an estimated 109,000 elephants in 2009 to around 70,000 in 2012. Around 30 elephants are killed for their ivory every day, almost 11,000 each year and rising.
It’s estimated that more than 35,000 African elephants were killed for ivory in 2012. The number likely rose again in 2013 and will rise again in 2014.
The Selous Game Reserve, for example, has lost more than 80 percent of its elephants to poaching in the last six years. In 2007, it had an estimated 50,000 elephants. A recent census found just 13,084 elephants alive today.
“Tanzania has lost the majority of elephants in some of their most iconic national parks,” said Dr. Max Graham, a wildlife conservationist. “If they want a viable tourism product, they have to act very quickly—within the next 12-18 months. Otherwise, the elephants will be gone forever.”
In addition, poachers killed at least 1,004 rhinos in Africa last year–a record toll that just keeps rising. At this pace, the rhino population will be pushed into extinction within a generation at most. Interventions across Africa are necessary and our partners in Africa can help. Our plan to conserve and restore millions acres of forest across Tanzania will undoubtedly help sustain wildlife, including several endangered species.
Tanzania wildlife news via http://sacredseedlings.com/endangered-species/