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Why This Matters: There are approximately 126,000 African elephants in Botswana, about a third of the entire African elephant population. While 356 out of 126,000 may not sound like a lot, it’s only 20 fewer elephants than poachers killed between 2017 and 2018.
Cyril Taolo, deputy director of Botswana’s Department of Wildlife and National Parks, credited environmental changes for the deaths, “There’s absolutely no reason to believe that there was human involvement in these mortalities,” he said, “this is not a phenomenon that was just seen now, it is something that happens quite a lot when there are these environmental changes.” Studies have shown a correlation between algae blooms and climate change. One study conducted in the United States by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that warming air and water, as well as increased rainfall, have made algae blooms more frequent, widespread, and longer. Anne Schechinger, EWG senior economic analyst explains, “the climate crisis is quickly accelerating what was already a dangerous, expensive problem.”
Chris Thouless, head of research at Save the Elephants has more questions, however, wondering why there seemingly haven’t been deaths in other species in the region. Roy Bengis, a veterinary wildlife specialist at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, says this may be explained by not only the large volume of water that elephants consume, but also by a common elephant behavior, swimming. For now, conservationists wait for more information, Dr. Bengis concluding, “I can’t say yea or nay with regards to whether this diagnosis is correct or incorrect, or possible or impossible.”
This week it was amazing to see critically endangered species propagating with the help of humans. The North Carolina Zoo announced yesterday it has welcomed three litters of highly endangered American Red Wolves – 12 pups in total. There are only around 20 of this species of wolf remaining in the wild. And scientists have […]
After a week of being on the loose in Houston, a 9-month-old tiger named India was found this weekend and appeared to be unharmed. India was spotted by a group of residents as he was prowling around a local neighborhood. As NBC News reported, India will be transported to the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch […]
by Minka Kelly, Actress and IFAW Global Ambassador As a Global Ambassador for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), I’ve known for years that there are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than remain free in the wild today. Hearing this stunning fact never fails to shock me. I’ve had the opportunity to […]
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