Silver Spring, MD BCTF volume number pages 1-2 edition
Online at BCTF web site. Print-quality versions by
Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, 8403 Colesville Road, Suite 710, Silver Spring, MD 20910
AFRICA; African; African elephant; Animal; BCTF; bushmeat; bushmeat trade; CENTRAL AFRICA; communities; community; elephant; elephants; HABITAT; habitat fragmentation; human; hunting; ivory; keystone species; market; population; protected area; protected areas; Task Force; TRADE
African elephants are considered keystone species because of the pivotal role that they play in structuring the plant and animal communities where they reside.
The continental decline of the African elephant and the contraction of its range have historically been associated with the ivory trade as well as habitat fragmentation due to human population expansion, and desertification. However, elephants are increasingly targets of the illegal market in bushmeat.
Currently the majority of the elephants' range in Africa is outside of protected areas, particularly in Central Africa, where elephants are increasingly vulnerable to human encroachment and illegal hunting