Elephant numbers are NOT declining in Botswana. The latest aerial census was completed in 2012 and shows a 297% increase in numbers since 1992 (source: Botswana Government press release, current population is over 200,000). They have also expanded their range (source: Elephants without borders). Deputy Director of the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks quoted recently: “With such a big population of elephants, the country needs to manage them carefully and monitor their impact on the environment as they pose a threat not only to the environment but other species of animal and human life” So to recap: Numbers are way up. The Department of Wildlife is concerned that it is damaging the environment. Yet the central government is imposing a ban on hunting elephants from January 2014. My point is that the ban on hunting is NOT related to any need to save the elephants from decline. And the funding that they will lose from the ban results in a reduction in their ability to tackle real conservation issues. You need to look at the bigger picture - the whole ecosystem rather than this single animal. While I don’t understand people’s desire to hunt large animals, the upcoming ban is going to have a detrimental impact on the ecology of Botswana.