Asian Elephants

Endangered Species


Asian elephants are considered endangered because in the past three generations their population has decreased by 50 percent. Most of the remaining Asian elephants reside in India, and studies show that based on the history of the population of Asian elephants, experts predict that their population will continue to spiral downward.


Illegal Trade, Genetic Threats, and Caputure

Obviously, elephants are savored for the valuable ivory in their tusks. This is an illegal trade that is still widespread in the world. Luckily, however, the ivory is most commonly taken from African elephants and not Asian elephants, so they are at less of a risk of being poached. Their skin however is also valuable and they are hunted for that. Due to the size of male elephant tusks, they are more commonly hunted. Experts worry that this will lead to a lack of reproduction in the elephant population, due to the loss of males. Elephants are commonly seen working in circuses and zoos, but what people don't realize is that they are also domesticated for work. Elephants are used in the timber and tourist industries all over the country. Also, because elephants can be difficult to capture, they commonly die during the capture. With such a small population of the Asian elephants left, it is sad to know that 30% of them are in captivity.

Conservation Efforts

There are many conservation efforts working to preserve the Asian elephant population. Among those are the the World Wildlife Foundation, Asian Elephant Conservation Act, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Sea World, and more. All of them are working toward controlling the hunt for ivory, establishing the borders for reserves, fighting for anti-poaching laws, and monitoring elephant to human contact. For example: World Wildlife Foundation is coordinating wildlife patrol units that enforce anti-poaching laws and confiscate weapons used to poach animals. This has been very successful and they have brought many poachers to court. There are many laws against the ivory trade, therefore the entire scheme is illegal, but many get away with it anyway. Overall, the laws that are in place are enforced by groups like that of the World Wildlife Foundation, but as to if it is working, we are unsure.


Elephants play an important role in the cultures and religions of many countries. They are also the face of many endangered species websites, therefore they help all animals be saved. Elephants are also referred to as "Asia's gardeners". They keep the grass trimmed and maintain and fertilize the land. Therefore, they play a vital role in society. Really, elephants only benefit our economy when we do what we are not supposed to with them such as use their ivory or captivate them. One could argue that we are negatively affecting the economy by preserving the elephants, but their well-being is more important. As far as helping out, you can sign treaties and join many campaigns to stop elephant poaching. Also be sure to stay connected with all of the latest wildlife news. If you're feeling really generous, you can even adopt your own elephant. For more information check out:

Amazing Wild Elephant Interaction with Sharon Pincott - Hwange Estate, Zimbabwe