Loxodonta africana (Annex B) (African Elephant)

Criteria met:  High volume (globally threatened)

Principal trade term to the EU:  trophies, tusks

Percentage of global trade to the EU:  10%

Principal source:  wild

Top EU importer:  trophies: Denmark, Spain; tusks: Spain, Romania

Top Trading Partner:  Zimbabwe

CITES Appendix:  II (populations of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe for specified purposes)

IUCN Status:  Vulnerable

EU-reported imports of wild-sourced (includes sources ‘W’, ‘U’ and source unspecified), Annex B Loxodonta africana trophies and tusks (excluding tusks reported in kg), all purposes, 2001-2010.

EU-reported imports from Annex B populations in 2010 principally comprised wild-sourced hunting trophies, tusks and skin pieces. The wild-sourced trophies and tusks mainly originated in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

Wild-sourced trophies and trophy items in trade that can easily be equated to individuals consisted of 215 trophies, 153 tusks and 241.9 kg of tusks, 46 feet, 23 ears and 11 tails. This equates to approximately 331 individuals, using the conversion factor of 1.88 tusks per elephant[1], and not including tusks reported by weight. A permit analysis of importer-reported data revealed that several trophy items were imported on the same permits as other trophy items, possibly reducing the number of animals involved to 314.

EU imports of wild-sourced Annex B trophies decreased by 17% between 2009 and 2010; although imports of wild-sourced Annex B tusks increased slightly in 2010, imports of tusks reported by weight showed a decline of 44% between 2009 and 2010.

In 2010, there were several instances where a L. africana import originating in a country with an Appendix II/Annex B population was reported as Appendix I/Annex A: Denmark reported the import of a total of 113 wild-sourced trophy items, leather products and skin pieces directly from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Botswana; the United Kingdom reported the import of 37 pre-Convention carvings directly from South Africa; France reported the import of one wild-sourced trophy and 18 pre-Convention carvings directly from South Africa; and Germany reported the import of one wild-sourced trophy directly from Namibia.

Trade in L. africana is closely monitored through the CITES process following Decision 14.78 (Rev. CoP15). The SRG confirmed positive opinions for Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe on 23/02/2012.

[1] Parker, I.S.C. and Martin, E.B. (1982). How many elephants are killed for the ivory trade? Oryx 16 (3): 235-239.