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As per a new study done by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the number of forest elephants in last ten years has decreased by 62% across Central Africa. The study that got published in the scientific journal PLoS One revealed the analysis that there is a confirmed possibility of the extinction of elephants from the forests of Africa in next ten years. The researchers are concerned that there is a possibility of killing the elephants for getting ivory.
Lead researcher Dr Fiona Maisels, a WCS conservation scientist from the School of Natural Sciences, University of Sterling, was quoted as saying, "Although we were expecting to see these results, we were horrified that the decline over the period of a mere decade was over 60%".
The study, which was contributed by 60 co-authors, surveyed forests in Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gabon and the Republic of Congo. Dr. Maisels said that her survey teams spent 91,600 days walking over 8,000 miles (12,875km) to compile the largest data ever, for the elephants in African forests. The researchers get a standardized measure of abundance of elephants from their dung piles and they recorded 11,000 dung piles in their dataset.
As anticipated, the results showed that the elephants have been poached for the increasing demand of ivory and Dr. Maisels suggests that there is an urgent need of public education that will inform consumers about the ramifications of the ivory trade.