The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed the African forest and savannah elephant in its new red list of animals threatened with extinction.
The African forest elephant, known scientifically as Loxodonta Cyclotis, is now one of the 37,480 new endangered species in 2021.
The forest elephant has seen its population fall by 86% in 30 years which made it critically endangered while the savanna elephants, known as Loxodonta Africana have plummeted by at least 60% in the last 50 years and were tagged as endangered.
“Africa’s elephants play key roles in ecosystems, economies, and in our collective imagination all over the world. Today’s new IUCN Red List assessments of both African elephant species underline the persistent pressures faced by these iconic animals,” said IUCN Director-General Dr. Bruno Oberle.
The IUCN blamed the elephant population decline on poaching and habitat destruction.
Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) African Species Director Bas Huijbregts suggested that the international community needs to do its part to reduce poaching and allow the elephant population to get back to normal.
“An elephant dies in Africa every 25 minutes, killed for its ivory tusks,” warned the WWF in 2019.
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