Threats to conservation in Africa, including elephants, are on the rise due to effects from COVID-19. The surge in poaching in Uganda is a good example. Between February and June of this year, the Uganda Wildlife Authority recorded 367 poaching cases across the country, more than double the 163 cases recorded during a similar period in 2019.
The dwindling park funding that has affected wildlife protection poses a threat to African elephants. Scientists are still searching for definitive answers about the cause of death of more than 280 elephants in Botswana between March and July of this year.
While this unprecedented mass die-off is probably attributable to natural toxins found in the environment, the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks issued statement on August 07, that left the door open to poisoning by other means. This unusual event illustrates the fragility of a keystone species from multiple threats (not just poaching) and the importance of stability and sustained livelihood in the communities that serve to protect wildlife and wild lands.