At Botswana meeting, conservationists warn that poaching of African elephants remains severe

International wildlife monitors say a high rate of elephant poaching in parts of Africa was unchanged in 2014 compared to the previous year, meaning that a continued decline in elephant numbers is likely.

A study by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which is known as CITES and regulates wildlife trade, says poaching rates of elephants in areas that are being monitored still exceed their natural birth rates. The study was presented Monday at an international meeting on the threat to elephants that is being held in Botswana.

Conservationists say tens of thousands of elephants have been poached in Africa in recent years.

John Scanlon, secretary-general of CITES, says the poaching situation appears to have deteriorated in Central and West Africa, though he notes "encouraging signals" in parts of East Africa where overall poaching levels have declined.