Help prevent the culling of Elephants in Zimbabwe

Help prevent the culling of Elephants in Zimbabwe

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Hannah Stout started this petition to Mangaliso Ndlovu and

Zimbabwe is considering the mass killing of elephants, known as culling, for the first time since 1988 to reduce population of the animals, which currently stands at around 100.000 individuals. This year, on the 25th of march,  African elephants species were added to the IUCN´s red list, for endangered and critically endangered species, following a decades long decline due to poaching and habitat loss. African forest elephants are now listed as critically endangered and the African savanna elephant is listed as endangered. This is the first time the two species have been assessed separately for the IUCN Red List and the latest assessment's shows an 86% decline of the forest elephant over the last 31 years, this is due to its longer and straighter tusks making it a more valuable target for ivory poachers, however its larger Savanna cousin has decreased by 60% over the last 50.

IUCN Endangered species

Zimbabwe´s elephant population is the second most numerous in the world, and of great importance in the conservation of the species, however the Zimbabwean Government maintains that the animals are causing an increasing number of dangerous human-elephant interactions, facilitated by constant decrease in land available for the elephants. Further arguments state that the Elephant populations are destroying habitat needed by other species, primarily livestock and the land that has been relocated from parks into farmland to maintain the agricultural population. Zimbabwe killed more than 50,000 elephants when it carried out culling on five occasions between 1965 and 1988, according to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.

Bloomberg - Mass culling in Zimbabwe

This culling was in an attempt to control environmental damage and rising concerns for climate change, and this was backed by controversial holistic management advocate Clifford Savory, who believed that elephants were to blame. The Zimbabwean government slaughtered countless herds, only after which researchers discovered that livestock were the cause of the desertification.

National Geographic - Zimbabwe Elephant Cullings

Authorities are often called upon to control wild species in the wild and in suburban areas. Concerned residents may demand action while not always understanding the true nature of the problem, thus subjecting councils and governments to political and financial pressures. A rushed response to these demands for action can lead to inhumane and ineffective control, breaches of current legislation and wasted funds. A clear and well-informed policy, together with accurate assessments of the impact of these species, will enable relevant departments to respond effectively and humanely.

Other methods of population control include translocation, by transporting the elephants away from the crowded areas on trucks, or to create landscape corridors that connect to parks in which the animals are less common. Contraception regimes are another possibility to limit the quantity of elephants humanely.

 Alternative population control measures

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