More elephants in Africa are being killed by poachers than are born each year, and the problem may be worse than previously understood, according to the most detailed assessment yet. Using a newly refined approach to estimate elephant deaths, developed at Kenya's Samburu National Reserve, researchers said Africa's elephant population is declining at a rate of about two percent annually. "Basically, that means we are starting to lose the species," said lead author George Wittemyer, an assistant professor in the department of fish, wildlife and conservation biology at Colorado State University. According to data from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), about 25,000 elephants may have been poached across Africa in 2011, based on about four dozen sites being monitored.
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