Wednesday, April 04, 2007

It's not over: Elephant poaching rises again

Despite the international ban on traffic in ivory, elephant poaching has not ended. After several years of a relative lull, it's on the rise, aided by the increasing development of Africa and the building of roads into what used to be hard-to-access areas. Wildlife Conservation Society biologist Jeff Blake and colleagues have just published a study showing "Unmanaged roads are highways of death for elephants." Blake's team surveyed thousands of miles of African roads and found at least 27 carcasses attributable to poachers, none more than 28 miles from a road. The forest elephant (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) is particularly hard hit.

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