No respite from poaching and habitat destruction
In addition to addressing such cross-cutting issues as illegal wildlife trade, sustainable forestry, and human-elephant conflict, AREAS provides a long-overdue cohesive approach to the conservation of the three Asian rhino species and the Asian elephant.
Killed for their ivory, meat, and bone, and for their live young, Asia’s last remaining elephants continue to decline in number in the face of poaching and habitat destruction. As recently as 1995, only 35,000 to 50,000 Asian elephants were thought to remain in the wild (as opposed to 10 times as many in Africa).
Since then, several populations have dwindled still further, and scientists fear that current populations may have fallen well below 1995 estimates.
Widely slaughtered for their horn - a highly prized commodity in traditional Asian medicines - and decimated by the destruction of their lowland rainforest habitat, many rhinos in Asia now hover on the brink of extinction.