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Population Change

Poaching Crisis

The map shows the entire elephant range in 1979, at the beginning of the ivory crisis. The total estimated elephant population in 1979 was 1.3 million elephants. Turn on the “2007 range” layer to see how almost four decades of habitat loss and illegal poaching for ivory has affected elephant range (savanna and forest elephant combined). It decreased by about half, and due to human land use, much of the remaining habitat is in protected areas. The total estimated elephant population in 2007 was approximately 640,000 elephants.

Turn on the “2016 trends” layer to see trends based on initial data from the Great Elephant Census, a Paul G. Allen project. This layer shows the area that the census covered – about 80% of savanna elephant range. Purple areas are places where elephant populations are stable or growing, while red areas are places where populations are declining. Conservationists can use this information to focus their efforts on protecting elephants that are under threat.