Illegal trade in wildlife facts and figures

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• 100,000 African elephants were killed in 2010-2012, out of a population estimated at less than 500,000.

• African Savannah Elephants have declined by 60% in the United Republic of Tanzania and by 50% in Mozambique since 2009.

• Poaching has caused the forest elephant population to plummet by 2/3 during 2002 - 2011.

• An estimated 170 tonnes of ivory was illegally exported out of Africa between 2009 and 2014.

• Poachers in Africa killed at least 1,338 rhinos in 2015, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

• In South Africa, rhino poaching increased almost 90-fold between 2007 and 2015 from 13 rhinos killed in 2007 to 1,175 rhinos killed in 2015.

• Chimpanzees are now extinct in Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo.

• 3,000 great apes are lost from the wild every year; over 70% of all great ape seizures are orangutans.

• With over one million animals taken from the wild in the past decade, pangolins are the most illegally trafficked mammal in the world.

• Illegal trade in wildlife is worth $15-20 billion annually, and is one of the largest illegal trades in the world, along with trafficking of drugs, arms and humans.

• According to the Thin Green Line, over the last decade, individuals associated with the illegal trade in wildlife have killed 1,000 park rangers.

• Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is estimated at 11-26 million tonnes of fish each year, worth between $10 and $23 billion, causing depletion of fish stocks, price increase and loss of livelihoods for fishermen

• 40% of all intrastate conflicts in the last 60 years were linked to natural resources and over 80% of major armed conflicts in the last 50 years occurred in biodiversity hotspots.

• Protecting wild animals and ecosystems would benefit tourism, which brought sub Saharan Africa over $36 billion and contributed over 7% of its GDP in 2012.

• Each live gorilla is bringing Uganda about $1 million per year in tourism revenues, while Rwanda, famous for its mountain gorillas made $304 million in eco-tourism in 2014, a $10 million increase over 2013.

• In September 2015, two of the largest ivory markets in the world, US and China, announced they would be closing their international and domestic trade in elephant ivory.

• Tougher penalties for poaching and a streamlined judicial system have helped Nepal to achieve zero rhino poaching in 3 out of the last 5 years, allowing the rhino population to grow by 21 per cent. There are now 645 rhinos as compared to 534 in 2011.

• In May 2015, the cross-continent Operation Cobra III brought together enforcement agencies from range, transit and destination countries, resulting in 139 arrests and more than 247 seizures, which included elephant ivory, medicinal plants, rhino horns, pangolins and many more.

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