Population of elephants in Malawi has drastically decreased from around 4.000 to less than 2,000 in recent years, Assistant Director of National Parks and Wildlife, William Mgoora revealed in Blantyre on Friday.
He attributed the decrease to poaching and illegal wildlife trade where protected animals are depleted from the country’s national parks and Game reserves.
“Illegal wildlife trade has been escalating with recent evidence that organised International crime syndicate are targeting and exploiting Malawi as a source and transit route for their illegal wildlife trade,” he said.
He cited Kasungu National Park which used to be the home of over 2,000 elephants but the number have dwindled to just 150 due to poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Mgoora said that Majete Wildlife Reserve had also its elephants completely wiped out until the reintroduction in 2003.
Apart from elephants, he added, rhinos and Lake Malawi turtles are also targeted for the illegal wild life trade.
However, he explained, government has put in place mechanisms such as reintroducing the animals in the wildlife reserves, fencing and equipment for law enforcement and infrastructure development among others.