Shocking government data reveals that poaching for ivory has caused the elephant population in Tanzania to drop from almost 110,000 to just 43,300 in the past six years.
That is 60 per cent of all of the country's elephants.
In an effort to end the ivory poaching, the fruits of which are particularly popular in China, Tanzania's Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, in association with WildAid and the African Wildlife Foundation, is urging the public to support the protection of these animals.
After losing 60 per cent of its elephant population in the past six years, the Tanzanian government is urging the world to unite against poachers
The campaign to end wildlife crime is called Poaching Steals from Us All and will use traditional resources, as well as social media, to reach as many people as possible - including those in rural villages.
'Elephants are at the top of the 'wish list' for many tourists who come into this country, and tourism generates over 17 per cent of our gross domestic product,' said The Hon. Lazaro Nyalandu, Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism
'Our elephants are a great asset to this country in many ways and my government is determined to stop the slaughter. But we cannot do it alone.
'We want to enlist the help of all of our citizens to stop the theft of our national heritage.'
Many African celebrities are lending their support to the elephants - and international icons, like Prince William, have spoken out about elephant poaching in the past
Award-winning singer-songwriter Alikiba has been enlisted to help with the campaign aimed to end poaching
Poaching is one of the key factors in the rapid decline of the elephant population and in countries like China, ivory fetches high revenue
A recent WildAid/AWF survey of over 2,000 Tanzanians found that 79 per cent of respondents said that it would matter a great deal to them if elephants disappeared from the country.
Over 73 per cent said that they associated wildlife with their national identity and heritage.
'Poaching of elephants literally is theft from all Tanzanians and from future generations,' said Peter Knights, CEO of WildAid. 'We invite all media to participate in the campaign, and we need everyone to help in the fight to stop it.'
Dr Patrick Bergin, CEO of the African Wildlife Foundation, said of the new campaign: 'Tanzania has always been known for its large elephant herds and, together with Botswana and Zimbabwe, is home to half of all of Africa's elephants.
'The current rate of poaching, however, threatens to erode that distinction. As Tanzanians learn more about the crisis through the campaign, we hope they will work with us to protect this tremendous asset.