Elephants are at the top of the list of endangered species. According to current estimates, there are only around 500,000 elephants left in the world. And this stock is shrinking every day.

Why are elephants threatened with extinction?

Over 30,000 elephants are slaughtered every year by poachers in order to get the valuable ivory. Despite the ban, illegal smuggling and trade in ivory is flourishing. Ivory carvings are still a status symbol in Asia. The constant live trade in captivity is also extremely worrying.

(The figures are based on censuses and estimates by official and non-official organizations from 2015/2016).

A very detailed list can be found here:

The situation of the elephants in Asia and Africa

In ASIA the elephants are poached less because of their ivory – which is because the cows only have rudimentary tusks and there are fewer bulls.

Spread across 12 countries, only between 40,000 and 45,000 elephants live in the whole of Asia, of which around 27,000 are in India. 15,000 elephants are in captivity. The latter often eke out their existence as tourist attractions under the guise of * tradition *. They are abused for religious purposes or used as working elephants. In Myanmar (Chinese border) the elephants are poached and slaughtered for their skin (for the Chinese pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries).
Another major problem is the growing population. The associated dwindling living space causes the resulting conflicts with the dead on both sides.

further information here:


Photo: WWF-FR-2014 – 45.0

  • approx. 40,000 wild elephants
  • approx.15,000 are held in captivity and used:
    – as working elephants in the illegal timber industry
    – as riding and show elephants in the tourism industry
    – as temple elephants for religious purposes
    – in forced breeding
    – as begging elephants
  • Hunt for ivory
  • Live trade
  • Trade in elephant skin and hair
  • Loss of habitat due to deforestation for agriculture such as palm oil, tea, coffee
  • Conflicts between humans and elephants due to a rapidly growing population and the resulting opening up of traffic, which blocks the migration routes of the animals

In AFRICA According to current estimates, only about 460..000 live Elephants And this population is shrinking every day.
Over 30,000 are killed each year through poaching and trophy hunting.

The illegal trade in African ivory is still flourishing. To this end, 20,000 elephants are poached and slaughtered every year.
Live trade: October 2019 – 30 baby elephants are torn from their families and sold to China to vegetate in zoos, tourist shows, etc.

More information at:
35 baby elephants are sold to China
Trophy hunt for elephants
Ivory Trade Background

Photo: WWF-FR-2014

  • approx. 460,000 elephants
  • around 30,000 elephants are killed each year
  • Poaching for the international ivory trade
  • Trophy hunting
  • Culling (scheduled killing of animals and processing into animal feed)
  • Loss of habitat due to the development and deforestation of forests and the extraction of raw materials
  • Conflicts caused by settlement construction and traffic development, whereby the migration routes of the animals are blocked
  • Live animal trade