The results of the recent and most extensive elephant population survey of Botswana estimates the country’s population at 126 000 elephants, a further decline from 131 600 reported in 2014. According to Conservation Action Trust, the report shows repeated evidence of significant increases in elephant poaching in four hotspots in Northern Botswana, which started a media storm last year
This report by Elephants without Borders (EWB) comes after the cabinet sub-committee presented their pro hunting report to President Mokgweetsi Masisi on Thursday last week, which proposes not only lifting the hunting ban, but also the introduction of regular elephant culling and associated elephant meat canning industry for pet food, as well as closing certain wildlife migratory routes.
Botswana government earlier submitted a proposal to CITES in preparation for the CoP18 meeting in May this year, asking to amend the CITES listing of the African savannah elephant to allow for trade in hunting trophies, live animals and registered (government-owned) stocks of raw ivory.
According to the African Elephant Status report (2016), Botswana’s elephant population declined by 15% in the preceding 10 years. This report clearly shows that Botswana’s elephant population is not increasing, as is often suggested in political and hunting corridors. Although its population is still the largest in Southern Africa, it’s actually 100 000 less than the 237 000 often quoted by politicians and the media in Botswana. In attempts to justify culling and hunting.