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Africa lost 111,000 elephants to poaching in last decade
[JOHANNESBURG] Africa lost as many as 111,000 elephants over the last decade as a surge in poaching in the east of the continent caused the population's biggest declines in the past 25 years.
The population in of the world's largest land mammals in Africa is estimated at 415,000, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, though there may be up to an additional 135,000 animals in areas that weren't systematically surveyed, the group said in a report published Sunday.
Poaching for ivory has risen sharply over the past decade, while loss of habitat also contributed to the decline in numbers, according to the Switzerland-based union, which comprises governments and civil society organisations. The report is the first continent-wide analysis of elephant numbers since 2006, it said.
African countries most affected by poaching include Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic.
Southern Africa still has more than 70 per cent of all African elephants, or an estimated 293,000 animals.
Eastern Africa has about 20 per cent, while Central and West Africa together have nine per cent of the remaining population, the report shows.