The survival and well being of elephants are threatened by: Escalating poaching, or illegal killing, for the commercial trade in ivory and meat, growing demands of exploding human populations and poverty, increasing loss and fragmentation of natural habitats and lack of land-use planning and rising conflict with humans over diminishing resources.
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. It banned the international trade in ivory in 1989, but there are still some thriving but unregulated domestic ivory markets in a number of countries, which fuel an illegal international trade. In some countries, political unrest contributes to elephant poaching.