95% of Liberia's elephants killed by poachers

Jeremy Hance
January 24, 2011

Since the 1980s, Liberia has lost 19,000 elephants to illegal poaching, according to Patrick Omondi of the Kenya Wildlife Service speaking in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The poaching of Liberia's elephants has cut the population by 95% leaving only 1,000 elephants remaining.

"Though, Liberia opposes trade in ivory, but, the trade is still being illegally practiced in the country. This trade is having negative impact on your resources, therefore, we all need to join efforts to conserve your wildlife resources," Omondi said as reported by the Liberian Observer.

Omondi made the statements at a conference meant to reactivate Liberia's participation in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Civil war rocked Liberia beginning in the 1980s through 2003, leading to the deaths of an estimated 200,000 people. The war also took a heavy toll on the nation's rich natural resources and wildlife with illegally harvested timber playing a major role in funding the conflict.

Although one of the smaller African nations (about the size of the US State Virgina), Liberia possesses a high diversity of species, including 2,200 plants, 590 birds, 193 mammals, and 162 fish.

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Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (January 24, 2011).

95% of Liberia's elephants killed by poachers.