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Elephants, largest of all land animals, are among the most recognizable and beloved creatures on Earth. Get fun facts on African elephants, plus video, audio, photos, and more at National Geographic's Kids site.
Elephants, like this crusty specimen, will frequently shower themselves with water then spray their skin with a protective coating of dust. Baby elephants are born big, standing approximately three feet (one meter) tall and weighing 200 pounds (91 kilograms) at birth.
Forest elephants were reclassified as an entirely different species of elephant from their African savanna counterparts. The entire day went discussing the geo-referenced graveyards of elephants, the tusks that had been recovered, and lost, and the individuals’ gruesome deaths by shooting, spearing, and poisoned arrows. In 1989 the Parties to CITES voted to place African elephants on Appendix I, thereby enacting a ban on international trade in ivory.
In 2000, in response to concerns that these sales would stimulate the market, the Parties to CITES initiated a program called Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants, or MIKE for short. In the early 1990s, when Joyce headed the Elephant Program for KWS, she set up an Elephant Mortality Database to help KWS monitor its anti-poaching efforts as well as the success of the ivory trade ban that had been enacted by CITES. As a result of the MIKE program, some of the information in the KWS Elephant Mortality Database is now of interest to a wider audience. Elephants are an asset to Kenya and her people and, as we await the release of the official 2012 elephant mortality figures, we are hopeful that Team Kenya will work together in harmony to protect her elephants. Thank you for the good work you are doing and May God keep you safe as you help protect the elephants. Thank you for letting us know what’s going on and for fighting to save the elephants.

Stricter law enforcement and harsher penalties are certainly needed but no one deserves the horrible fate of some of these elephants.
A Voice for Elephants & RhinosElephants are increasingly endangered by poaching for their ivory and by human incursion into their habitats. How Killing Elephants Finances Terror in AfricaArmed groups help fund operations by smuggling elephant ivory.
Find out how the African elephant's impressive tusks help it survive, but have also been its downfall.
The subspecies shown here is found only on Borneo and faces threats from the conversion of their forest habitat to agricultural use. We were to meet with other stakeholders at the Narok County headquarters of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to “harmonize” the 2012 elephant mortalities that we had each collected from the world-renowned Maasai Mara ecosystem. The simple answer is that with many people engaged in elephant conservation in Kenya, we need to agree on the actual figures so that we can document what is going on and react in an appropriate way.
Prior to 1990 African elephants were on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), permitting the sale of ivory from elephant range states under a quota system. Several southern African country elephant populations were down-listed to Appendix II and so-called “one-off” sales of their ivory stockpiles were permitted to Japan and China. The MIKE program involves collecting specific data on elephant mortality from some 52 “MIKE sites” or populations of monitored elephants across Africa, with one of its primary aims being to monitor whether and how the decisions taken at CITES might be impacting levels of poaching on the ground. Already in 2007 there were telltale signs that all was not well, but as the number of poached elephants continued to rise, there was strong disagreement about whether the down-listings and stock-pile sales were the cause or whether the “ban” (undermined by them) was no longer working. While MIKE has provided facts and figures to the authorities, in some countries it may also have led to a delay in sounding the alarm about the killing of elephants for ivory.
In addition, the presence of elephant projects in Amboseli and Maasai Mara has also allowed detailed mortality records to be collected according to MIKE criteria.

It is this database that now holds the MIKE data and forms an important source of information regarding the level of illegal killing of elephants in the country. The figures have not been pretty, and it is fair to say that some individuals have sought to both window-dress and keep a lid on the facts to keep them from public view. We have a team of internationally recognized Kenyan conservationists and elephant authorities, conservation expertise, institutions, and policies in place, and a galvanized public with the will to slow the rate of killings. Guest BloggerAerial Survey Provides Bird’s Eye View of Plight of Elephants in Zambia The Nature ConservancyBlood Ivory Elephants are being illegally killed across Africa at the highest rates in a decade, and the global religious market for ivory is a driving force. Once the data are harmonized, we may go to the press with the grisly figures, we may post them on Facebook, we may shout to the world with the hard facts, the undeniable evidence: “Look, look, look what is happening to our elephants! It was a system open to so much abuse that East Africa lost 85 percent of her elephants in 15 years, and the continental elephant population plummeted from 1.3 million to 600,000.
She is a world authority on elephant social, reproductive, communicative and cognitive behavior and has dedicated her life to the conservation and welfare of elephants. Poole headed the Kenya Wildlife Service Elephant Program from 1990-1994 where she was responsible for elephant conservation and management throughout Kenya. Mother elephants play such an important physical and emotional role in a calf’s survival. Synchronize would have been a better term, as there seemed nothing harmonious or agreeable about the task ahead.

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