Are elephants endangered species?

Date: 1996-00-00 from in


Are elephants endangered species?
How many elephants are left on earth?


  • Appendix I: controls species whose existence is so threatened that trade is banned. Covers some 1,000 plants and animals, eg great apes
  • Appendix II: Allows controlled trade, under a system of permits. Covers 4,100 animal species and 28,000 plants
  • Appendix III: Contains 290 species that are protected in at least one country.

There´s about 600 000 African elephants, and between 30 000 and 50 000 Asian elephants. (Approximately 20% are in captivity) It´s difficult to estimate their numbers exactly. The Africans dropped by 50%, from 1.3 millions to 600 000, between 1979 and 1989, because of poaching. About 8 elephants an hour (70 000/year) were poached during this period, until the CITES Ivory ban 1989.

The CITES ((Washington)Convention of International Trade In Endangered Species) regard both species as so threatened, so they are included in appendix 1. (the red list)In the Cites conference 1997, populations in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia were downlisted to appendix II.

This means that limited trade with ivory on quota, to Japan is ok. If a population in undisturbed, it grows with only 6%/year according to the IUCN (International Union of Conservation of Nature) elephant specialist group.

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There is another 15 Frequently asked questions about elephants

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