Research press release


Nature Communications

Conservation: African elephant poaching in decline



今回、Severin Hauenstein、Colin Bealeたちの研究グループは、サハラ砂漠以南のアフリカ29カ国に設定されたアフリカのゾウ違法捕殺監視システム(Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants;MIKE)の観測地点53カ所で2002~2017年に得られた年間死体発見率のデータを分析し、その結果を各地域と世界の社会経済的要因(象牙価格を含む)と比較して、密猟率に関連するプロセスを明らかにした。その結果、年間の密猟による死亡率がピーク時の2011年の10%から2017年には4%未満に低下し、これが中国の主要市場で象牙の需要が減少したことに関連していたことが明らかになった。


African elephant poaching rates have declined since 2011 according to an analysis published in Nature Communications. The paper reports that the decline in poaching at 53 sites across sub-Saharan Africa was correlated with changes in the demand for ivory from China. However, variation in poaching rates between the different sites was associated with indicators of corruption and poverty locally.

African elephant poaching increased during the early 2000s, with populations both inside and outside protected areas falling by 30% in seven years. Despite international intervention to curb the trade in ivory, the effectiveness of these policies has remained unclear.

Severin Hauenstein, Colin Beale and colleagues analyzed annual carcass-encounter data from 53 African Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) sites across 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2002 and 2017. They compared this to local and global socio-economic factors (including ivory price) to identify processes associated with poaching rates. The authors observed a decline in the annual poaching mortality rate from a peak of over 10% in 2011 to less than 4% in 2017. This was associated with reduced demand for ivory in the main Chinese markets.

However, variation in the poaching rate between the different sites was associated with levels of poverty (measured by infant mortality and poverty density) and corruption (using a perceived corruption index). The authors argue that further investment in law enforcement may help reduce poaching rates, but a comprehensive socio-economic strategy to tackle corruption and poverty in communities neighbouring protected areas may have a greater effect.

doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-09993-2

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