Elephants Niche As A Keytone Species


It is no surprise why elephants are so big when they consume several hundred pounds of vegetation every day. Elephants spend 80% of their day scavenging for this vegetation. The vegetation that they are after are grasses, small plants, bushes, fruit, twigs, tree bark, and roots.

Relationship With Other Species

A elephant has many relationships in the wild but some major ones are that with the Oxpeckers, cattle egret, and olive baboons. Oxpeckers are little birds that travel on the backs of elephants. The birds eat the little ticks and fleas of the elephants back. They also make a call when they see danger alerting the elephant. Cattle Egrets have a similar relationship as the Oxpecker and a elephant. They walk next to the elephant and eat parasites and insects that jump up when the elephant is walking. In return, the birds alert the elephant to danger. Lastly, baboons have a cool relationship with elephants. The baboon drinks out of the drinking holes that elephants dig and in return they sit on the tree tops and alert elephants to danger.


Elephants knock down trees in the wild. This may not seem like a service, but it actually is. The knocked down trees become great shelter for smaller species to nest or hide in.