Poaching for the illegal trade in ivory and loss of habitat are two of the key drivers of decline and today’s announcement by the IUCN must inspire a clearer focus on what we need to do to protect two species that are not just admired and loved the world over, but are also keystones of the vital ecosystems to which they belong.
There is hope. We know what to do to protect elephants. In the case of critically endangered forest elephants, there is an urgent need to work with communities to guarantee secure corridors so that elephants – transboundary creatures that often move across several countries in the course of their migrations – can move safely between habitats. It can be done, so today must be a wake-up call. We must not let the elephant become a creature that our grandchildren only know from stories. We need to safeguard their future, now.”