Great Elephant Census Final Results

Elephant population trends in GEC landscapes over the past ten years based on GEC data and comparable previous surveys (methodology in Chase et al. 2016). Red landscapes declining >5%/year, orange declining 2-5%/year, yellow declining or increasing <2%/year, pale green increasing 2-5%/year, dark green increasing >5%/year. 

Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. announced the results for the Great Elephant Census showing a decline of 30 percent in African savanna elephant populations in 15 of the 18 countries surveyed

Final results show:

  • Savanna elephant populations declined by 30 percent (equal to 144,000 elephants) between 2007 and 2014.[2]
  • The current rate of decline is 8 percent per year, primarily due to poaching. The rate of decline accelerated from 2007 to 2014.
  • 352,271 elephants were counted in the 18 countries surveyed. This figure represents at least 93 percent of savanna elephants in these countries.
  • Eighty-four percent of the population surveyed was sighted in legally protected areas while 16 percent were in unprotected areas. However, high numbers of elephant carcasses were discovered in many protected areas, indicating that elephants are struggling both inside and outside parks.

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