Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-lm8cj Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-05T02:36:30.274Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

African elephants: population trends and their causes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 April 2009

I. Douglas-Hamilton
PO Box 54667, Nairobi, Kenya.
Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]


Core share and HTML view are not possible as this article does not have html content. However, as you have access to this content, a full PDF is available via the ‘Save PDF’ action button.

In 1985 many African elephant populations, which had been monitored for a decade or more, were either in rapid decline or down to a fraction of their former size. The author examines regional trends and information on key populations with reference to the critical factors affecting the survival of the African elephant, most significantly poaching and the illegal trade in ivory

Research Article
Copyright © Fauna and Flora International 1987


Avergan, T. and Honey, M. 1982. War in Uganda. Tanzania Publishing House Ltd, Dar-es-Salaam.Google Scholar
Barnes, R.F.W. and Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1982. The numbers and distribution patterns of large mammals in the Ruaha-Rungwa area of southern Tanzania. J. Appl. Ecol. 19, 411425.Google Scholar
Bell, R.H.V. 1984. Letter to the Editor. Swara, 7, 40.Google Scholar
Boitani, L. 1981. The Southern National Park, a Master Plan. Prepared for Instituto di Zoologia, Facolta di Scienze dell'Universita di Roma, Italy.Google Scholar
Borner, M. and Severre, E. 1984. The Ruaha Elephants Report from the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism, Tanzania.Google Scholar
Borner, M. and Severre, E. 1985. Rhino and Elephant Poaching in the Selous Game Reserve. Serengeti Wildlife Research and Frankfurt Zoological Society.Google Scholar
Bousquet, B. and Szaniawski, A. 1981. Benin et Haute Volta. Resultats des Recensements Aeriens de Grands Mammiferes dans la region Pendjarie et Mekrou. FO:DP/UPV/78/008 DP/BEN/77/011. Document de Terrain No. 4.Google Scholar
Bryden, H. A. 1903. The decline and fall of the South African elephant. Fortnightly; Review (n.s.), 79, 100108.Google Scholar
Burrill, A., Douglas-Hamilton, I. and Mackinnon, J. 1986. Protected Areas as Refuges for Elephants. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.Google Scholar
Caldwell, J.R. and Barzdo, J. 1985. The World Trade in Raw Ivory, 1983 and 1984. Wildlife Trade Monitoring Unit report to CITES.Google Scholar
Carrington, R. 1958. Elephants, a Short Account of their Natural History, Evolution and Influence on Mankind. Penguin, London.Google Scholar
Caughley, G. and Goddard, J. 1975. Abundance and distribution of elephants in the Luangwa Valley, Zambia. East African Wildlife J. 13, 3948.Google Scholar
Cobb, S.M. 1976. The distribution and abundance of the large herbivore community of Tsavo National Park, Kenya. D.Phil. Thesis. University of Oxford.Google Scholar
Craven, D. 1984. Damaraland and Kaokoland—Where to Now? Namibia Wildlife Trust Newsletter. Winter 1984.Google Scholar
De Bie, S and Kessler, J.J. 1983. An Aerial Resource Inventory of the National Park Boucle du Baoule?. Department of Nature Conservation, Agricultural University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1972. On the Ecology and Behaviour of the African Elephant. D.Phil.Thesis. University of Oxford.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1976a. The African Elephant Action Plan. Typescript report for the IUCN/WWF/NYZS Elephant Survey and Conservation Programme.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1979b. African Elephant Ivory Trade. Final Report to US Fish and Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1983a. Back from the brink. AERSG Newsletter, 1, 13.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1983b. Elephants hit by African arms race. Pachyderm, 2, November 1983.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1984a. Trends in key African elephant populations. Pachyderm, 4, 79.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1984b. Elephant and rhino populations trends in Selous, Tanzania, Pachyderm, 4, 18.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, O. 1980. Africa's elephants—can they survive? National Geographic Magazine, 158, 568603.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I., Froment, J.M., Doungoube, G. and Root, J. 1985. Amenagement Faune Republique Centra-fricaine. Recensement aereien de la faune dans la zone nord de la Republique Centrafricaine, FO: CAF/78/006 Document de travail 5.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I., Hillman, A.K.K., Holt, P. and Ansell, P. 1979. Luangwa Valley. IUCN/NYZS WWF Elephant, Rhino and Wildlife Survey.Google Scholar
Douglas-Hamilton, I., Malpas, R., Edroma, E., Holt, P., Laker-Ajok, G. and Weyerhaeuser, R. 1980. Rwenzori National Park and Kabalega National Park Aerial Counts. IUCN Progress Report. Uganda Elephant Survey. Uganda Institute of Ecology.Google Scholar
Dublin, H. and Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1986. Current Status and Past Trends of Elephants in the Serengeti and Mara ecosystems (in press).Google Scholar
, Ecosystems 1979–1980. Aerial Survey Reports in Tanzania Ecosytems Ltd, Nairobi.Google Scholar
Eltringham, S.K. and Malpas, R.C. 1980. The decline in elephant numbers in Rwenzori and Kabalega Falls National Parks, Uganda. Afr. J. Ecol. 18, 7386.Google Scholar
Froment, J.M. 1985. Exploitation des Elephants en Republique Centrafricaine. Document de terrain No. 1, CAF/78/006, FAO.Google Scholar
Haigh, J.C., Parker, I.S.C., Parkinson, D.A. and Archer., A.L. 1979. An Elephant Extermination. Environmental Conservation, 6, 305310.Google Scholar
Hall-Martin, A. 1980. Elephant survivors. Oryx, XV, 355362.Google Scholar
Hall-Martin, A. 1981. Conservation and management of elephants in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. 1UCN/SSC AERSG proceedings at Hwange Safari Lodge, Zimbabwe.Google Scholar
Hillman, A.K.K. and Borner, M. 1983. Aerial Census of the Garamba National Park, Zaire. Report of WWF/FZS. Typescript.Google Scholar
Hillman, A.K.K., Snyder, P.M., Tear, T. and Sommerlatte, M. 1981. An Aerial Reconnaissance of the Shamba Area, Southern Sudan. Typescript report.Google Scholar
Kayanja, F. and Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1982. Impact of the Unexpected—Case History of the Uganda National Parks. Bali Conference.Google Scholar
Martin, R. 1985. Establishment of African Ivory Export Quotas and Associated Control Procedures. A report to the CITES secretariat.Google Scholar
Melton, D.A. 1985. The Status of elephants in Northern Botswana. Biological Conservation, 31, 317333.Google Scholar
Mulder, M.B. and Caro, T. 1980. Slaughter of the Elephants. New Scientist, July, 3234.Google Scholar
Olivier, R.C.D. 1983. The Gounna Elephants of Mali. A Challenge for the Integrated Management of Sahelian Rangeland. UNEP, Nairobi. Typescript.Google Scholar
Omar, H.S. 1981. Save the elephants from extinction in Somali. Somali Range Bulletin, 12, 6770.Google Scholar
Otticholo, W.K. 1986. Population estimates and distribution patterns of elephants in the Tsavo ecosystem, Kenya, in 1980. African Journal of Ecology, 24, 5357.Google Scholar
Owen-Smtih, G. 1984. Namibia's most valuable resource. Quagga, 7. Spring 1984.Google Scholar
Parker, I.S.C. 1979. The Ivory Trade. Report to I. Douglas-Hamilton on behalf of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.Google Scholar
Parker, I.S.C. and Amin, M. 1983. Ivory Crisis. Chatto and Windus, London.Google Scholar
Parker, I.S.C. and Martin, E.B. 1982. How many elephants are killed for the ivory trade? Oryx, XVI, 235239.Google Scholar
Parker, I.S.C. and Martin, E.B. 1983. Further insight into the international ivory trade. Oryx, XVII, 194200.Google Scholar
Parry, D. 1983. Slaughterhouse of the Giants. Quagga, 7, 3233.Google Scholar
Patterson, L 1985. Aerial Monitoring of Major Wildlife Species in Northern Botswana. Third Survey, Kalahari Conservation Society.Google Scholar
Pilgram, T. and Western, D. 1984. Managing elephant populations for ivory production. Pachyderm, 4, 911.Google Scholar
Reoyo, M.T. 1979. Le Parc National de Zakouma En Peril: Destruction Systematique des animaux par de Militaires. Typescript report.Google Scholar
Roth, H.H., Merz, G. and Steinhauer, B. 1984. Repartition et Statue des grandes mammiferes en Cote d'Ivoire. Mammalia, 48, 207226.Google Scholar
Savidge, J.M., Woodford, M.H. and Croze, H. 1976. Report on a Mission to Zaire. FAO (KEN/71/526–ZAI/70/001).Google Scholar
Sheldrick, D.L.W. 1976. Report on Poaching in the Tsavo National Park. Typescript report.Google Scholar
Stelfox, J.G., Kafwafwa, J.W., Otticholo, W.K. 1981. Distributions and population trends of elephants and rhinoceros in Kenya: 1977–1981. KREMU Technical Report No. 43. Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Nairobi.Google Scholar
Teleki, G. 1980. Status of the Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Sierra Leone. A Preliminary Report on Distributions. Report to WWF. Typescript.Google Scholar
US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. 1983 World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers. US State Dept.Google Scholar
Van Wyk, P. and Fairall, N. 1969. The influence of the African elephant on the vegetation of the Kruger National Park with special reference to the tree and shrub strata. Koedoe, 12, 5789.Google Scholar
Verschuren, J. 1981. Senegal's disappearing elephants. Oryx XVI, 118119.Google Scholar
Verschuren, J. 1982. Hope for Liberia. Oryx, XVI, 421427.Google Scholar
Watson, R.M., Thackway, R.M., Tippet, C.I. and Scholes, V.A.D. 1976. Sudan National Livestock Census and Resource Inventory. Typescript. 20 volumes.Google Scholar
Wells, M. and Douglas-Hamilton, I. 1986. Tusk size CAR. Pachyderm 6, 16.Google Scholar
Weyerhaeuser, R. 1982. On the ecology of the Lake Manyara elephants. Masters Thesis. Yale University.Google Scholar
Work, D.R. 1983. Chobe Elephant Survey Interim Report. Typescript report.Google Scholar
WTMU. 1983. The Hong Kong and Japanese Trade in Unworked Ivory 1979–1982. Traffic Bulletin, 5, 710.Google Scholar