THE ELEPHANT WORLD. 

Did you know that August 12 is World Elephant Day?

For more information, click here: World Elephant Day.

THE AFRICAN ELEPHANT.

The African elephant is classified as genus Loxodonta Africana.

Initially, this species inhabited almost every region of Africa apart from the dry regions of the Sahara. 

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The biggest threat to the African elephant population is poaching for ivory and meat.

Historically, ivory has been a glorified commodity sourcing livelihood for humans through trade.

However, a number of surveys show that male elephants are poached more than females.

According to the red list (IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 2003) the African elephant is categorised as Endangered in the wild due to criterion A (population reduction verified by measurements of population decline)

NOTE: CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) has two monitoring systems for elephant trade (and see www.traffic.org): MIKE (Monitoring Illegal Killing of Elephants) is the approved instrument for tracking the situation across Africa and Asia and ETIS (Elephant Trade Information System) is the designated system to monitor illegal trade in ivory and elephant products. ETIS was designed by TRAFFIC.

THE BIG POPULATION DECLINE

The map below shows how the number of elephants has diminished from 1979 to 2007 from 1.3 million elephants to 472000 - 690000 elephants based on a survey conducted by National Geographic.

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For more information: Solutions for Saving Elephants on World Elephant Day

THE ASIAN ELEPHANT

They are classified as genus Elephas Maximus.

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Prior to the interference or rather modification of their habitat, the Asian elephants inhabited the region extending from the Tigris-Euphrates in the west through Asia south of Himalayas to Indochina and most of southern China.

The conservation of forests has been regarded as the most crucial initiative that guarantees their survival because all Asian elephants are forest animals. The biggest population of the Asian elephant is in India but as a result of human activities like deforestation (through logging, shifting cultivation and fuel wood), now, less than 20% of the country is forested. Out of the 20%, half of it can be said to be the only portion that is suitable for the elephants.

However, the species is said to be in grave danger. Perilous conditions endangering their survival has been greatly a doing of man. Research approximates that about 20% of the world population inhabits the present range of the species. Therefore, one of the biggest threats to their survival is the reduction of their habitat.

A MAP OF REGIONS WHERE ASIAN ELEPHANTS ARE SUPPORTED BY DONATIONS.

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SOCIAL ORGANISATION OF ELEPHANTS.

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The basic unit is a family composed of a mother and the young with her mature daughters and offspring(s).

The matriarch who turns out to be the oldest, largest and possibly post reproductive female sets the activity, direction and the rate of movement of the herd.

In Manyara (Tanzania), it has been observed that the average size of a family unit was 10. These units consolidate to form a larger kinship or bond groups which may go as far as 50 animals. However, when the numbers grow vastly, a new matriarchy breaks in the broader scheme of the demographic outlay remains part of the same bond group.  

Within a broad sense, let’s say 100 animals or more, they are often regarded as a clan. A resent study in Sri Lanka depicts that 22 to 55 animals which split into family groups comprise of one to four reproducing females.