Yes, conservation efforts have worked in many ways. But the conservation laws seem to be working, thanks to such organizations such as the United Nations Environmental Programme and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). To date, and according to estimates, the African elephant populations seem to be growing, with one estimate showing an increase at an average annual rate of 4 percent per year. But that doesn’t mean everyone pays attention. Organized criminal networks have been killing elephants in certain areas—in 2011, around 11,000 elephants were illegally killed by poachers. Authorities continue to try to control this slaughter before poaching outweighs the number of elephants born.