Elephant poaching levels appear to remain stable and unacceptably high in 2018
The CITES MIKE Programme analysis of the 2018 trends in the poaching of African elephants show that the steady increase in the levels of illegal killing of elephants witnessed since 2006, and peaking in 2011, has been halted and appears to have stabilized. However, overall poaching levels still remain unacceptably high and continue to pose a risk to the survival of African elephants.
Despite the apparent slight decline, probable poaching rates overall remain higher than the estimated normal growth rate of elephant populations, or above the sustainability threshold, meaning the elephant population overall is likely to have continued to decline in 2018 overall. Unfortunately, the confidence intervals do not allow firmer conclusions to be made at this time.
Fifty-three MIKE sites reported during 2018. All the MIKE sites in Eastern and Southern Africa submitted reports, while 12 sites in Central Africa and 15 sites in West Africa submitted reports. In 2017, the total carcass records received were 1,674, of which 701 were recorded as illegally killed while in 2018, the total carcass records received were 1,235, of which 520 were recorded as illegally killed..