Posted September 19, 2018 07:16:38 A recent report says the population of baby hippopotamus is at an all-time low, and the species has been listed as critically endangered.
A report released this week by the International Union for Conservation of Nature says the baby elephant population in Cameroon has declined by 50 per cent over the past 50 years, as well as by up to 90 per cent in the past decade.
A new study has found that the population has been on the decline in more than a dozen regions of Cameroon since the 1970s.
“Biodiversity has a huge impact on the health and well-being of people,” says Dr. Marie-Claude Cote of the Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada.
“And we need to look at the impact of habitat loss on our population.”
Dr. Cote says there are now more than 2,000 baby elephants living in Cameroon, with up to 100,000 elephants living on the wildland reserves in the country.
“This is the fastest decline in baby elephants since at least the 1970’s,” she says.
The International Union of Conservation of Development (IUCN) says the species is facing its greatest threat from poaching, deforestation, and habitat loss.
“The species is under threat from habitat loss, the fragmentation of forests, and poaching,” the report says.
“For the first time in over 100 years, a population is being reduced by 50-70 per cent.”
The IUCN estimates that a baby elephant is about the size of a small dog and weighs up to 400 kilograms.
“They’re not particularly agile, but they can move extremely quickly and can be extremely fast,” says Cote.
“So, it’s not surprising that they can be a real problem.”
Cote’s research shows the baby calf population is decreasing in the wilds of the country’s southwest, where the area has been heavily fragmented and cleared.
“It’s the first population decline in this area in 50 years,” she said.
“In the last 10 years, the area is now in the hands of poachers.
So, we’re now seeing a huge population decline.”
The report says that in areas where there are no elephants in the areas where they’re not needed, poaching has become a more lucrative venture.
The poaching of baby elephants is a growing problem in Cameroon.
“I think the elephant’s getting more stressed,” Cote said.
This is the first major study to identify the decline of the baby population in this part of the world, Cote added.
“With all of the wildlife-related issues that are occurring right now, it is absolutely imperative that we take a holistic approach and work together.”
Cotes team has been monitoring the baby herd over the last three years, following a series of poaching incidents that have happened in the last year.
“We’ve been monitoring their behavior, and we’ve also been observing the baby calves,” she explained.
“Their behavior has been pretty consistent, so we can say that this is a pattern we can follow.”
Coticou says the findings of the IUCNS report highlight the need to work together with conservation organizations and the international community to reduce poaching, habitat destruction, and human-wildlife conflict.
“Unfortunately, it can be difficult for us to stop the poaching and habitat destruction and the destruction of habitat,” he said.
Coticoun says the Iucn report is just the beginning.
“There’s a lot more to be done, but the IWC and other conservation groups are making significant efforts,” he added.