Common questions about elephants, ivory and poaching in Africa.
Are African elephants near extinction?
No. Nonprofit groups sponsored a Great Elephant Census across Africa that estimated a minimum of 352,271 elephants in the wild in Africa. www.greatelephantcensus.com While the overall population of elepants in Africa have been declining, the reasons vary greatly depending on the region of Africa the elephants are located.
Are 96 elephants being killed every day in Africa?
No. This is an often-repeated fundraising talking point used to create a false sense of crisis to justify an ivory ban that has no empirical support. While it is possible that approximately 100,000 elephants were killed in 2011 at the peak of a world-wide commodity boom, there is no study that shows this rate of killing has continued beyond that year, and certainly not since 2013 when bans were first proposed.
Is the United States the world's second largest market for illegally imported ivory?
No. The United States banned the importation of African Ivory tusks in 1991, and that ban successfully ended importation of all but an insignificant amount of new ivory into the United States. Because hundreds of tons of ivory had been imported into the US up through the 1970s, this country's legally imported ivory stock, together with items made from legally obtained ivory, has no significant impact on elephants living in Africa today.