"Two big decisions have been made in the last few weeks in relation to African
elephants that will have major implications for the survival of the giant
The first is that a global body devoted to the conservation of elephants in
Africa recognised the African elephant as two species: forest and savanna.
Previously they had been considered a single species. This matters because
their individual populations are smaller than when recognised as a single
species, and because they face shared as well as unique threats.
Secondly, in March, the International Union for Conservation of Nature updated
its Red List, and moved African elephants into more threatened classifications.
As a single species, African elephants were previously listed as “Vulnerable”,
because there had been a reduction of more than 30% of the population in the
past three generations.
But the body has now listed forest elephants as “Critically Endangered” – a
category for species that have declined over 80% within three generations. And
it has listed savanna elephants as “Endangered” – a decline of over 50% within
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics