What drives elephant poaching? It’s not greed
Fewer elephants were poached in areas where communities were healthier and wealthier, a study on thousands of killings in 30 African countries found.
Elephant poaching is likely driven by need, not greed, according to findings published this month in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
Fewer elephants were poached where humans were healthier and wealthier, according to researchers from Oxford University, the UN, the University of Cape Town, and other institutions who analyzed data from more than 10,000 killings over nearly two decades and across 30 African countries. They based their study on mortality rates of children under five and surveys assessing, for example, the number of rooms in houses, the availability of clean water and toilets, and ownership of assets such as a refrigerator and television.
Poaching is a major cause of decline for both endangered savanna elephants and critically endangered forest