In November 2015, Vietnamese officials seized more than two tons of ivory that originated in Mozambique. The haul was valued at over $4 million (US). All Africa #News reported that the ivory was found on board a container vessel that docked in Hai Phong. Vietnam has one of the world’s greatest demands for trafficked ivory, despite their ban on ivory trade. Back in Mozambique, where the elephant population has been hit hard by poachers, efforts are now underway to collar some of the remaining elephants in the Niassa National Reserve.
The Niassa National reserve contains one of the most important elephant populations in the country, but it's being devastated by illegal poachers. Over 60% of the elephants have been killed in the past three years.
News24 reported that the reserve contains 43% of the entire national herd of Mozambique. Mozambique’s National Administration for Conservation Areas joined up with the Wildlife Conservation Society, tour operators and community members in a task to collar members of remaining family groups of elephants. The aim is to be able to track movement, and potentially be able to react to problems quickly. The collars have GPS tracking which will give live information as to the movement of the herds. Sadly, during the collar exercise, fifteen dead elephants were found that had recently been killed for their ivory.
These fifteen elephants account for part of the population drop. The animals have been reduced in Niassa from an estimated twelve thousand animals to just over four thousand. National population numbers revealed in a 2014 census that elephants had dropped down from 20,000 to around 10,300 animals.
USAID reported in 2014 that up to five elephants are being killed every single day in Mozambique. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in Africa, which has one of the most diverse and richest natural resources in Africa. Tourists visit the country to explore the rich diversity and beauty of these natural resources, but rampant poaching of wildlife could seriously impact this potentially wealthy source of much-needed foreign exchange. #Buzz