NEW DELHI, May 24, 2011 (AFP) – Eight countries with the largest number of elephants met for the first on Tuesday in New Delhi to plot new strategies to protect the animal. “Delegates here represent two-thirds of the world’s wild elephant population,” Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the inaugural gathering of the Elephant-8 group.
“From poaching for their ivory to habitat loss, every issue to conserve the elephant needs to be addressed.”
Wildlife experts say both the African and Asian elephant face numerous threats and a combined effort from all countries was needed to ensure the animal’s long-term survival.
The meeting was attended by delegates from Botswana, Congo, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Thailand.
India is home to an estimated 25,000 Asian elephants but their numbers are falling due to poaching and habitat destruction.