Morgan Truitt, 4th period
The endangered breeds of elephant:
Sumatran elephants are found in lowland forest close to rivers, although they may also be found in hill forests on a seasonal basis.
They live in Sumatran Island's Lowland, and Montane Forests in western Indonesia.
The Sumatran elephant feeds on green vegetation and may eat up to 200 kg of food a day, namely bananas, ginger, young bamboo and leaves of a variety of vines.
According to IUCN, 85% of the animal's remaining habitat is unprotected and likely to be converted for agriculture or other purposes. As forests shrink, elephants are increasingly closer to fields and cultivated land, generating conflict with humans that often results in the death of the elephants by poisoning or capture, as well as economic losses to humans.
Sri Lankan Elephants (Elephas maximus maximus):
The herd size in Sri Lanka ranges from 12-20 individuals or more, with the oldest female, or 'matriarch', leading the herd. In Sri Lanka, herds have been reported to contain "nursing units," consisting of lactating females and their young, and "juvenile care units", containing females with juveniles.
Their geological location is in southwestern Sri Lanka.
Asian elephants are extremely sociable, forming groups of 6 to 7 related females that are led by the oldest female, the 'matriarch'
More than two thirds of the day may be spent feeding on grasses, but large amounts of tree bark, roots, leaves and small stems are also eaten. Cultivated crops such as bananas, rice and sugarcane are favored foods. Because they need to drink at least once a day, the species are always close to a source of fresh water.
They live in the southeast and eastern part of Asia.
The main threat facing Indian elephants, like all Asian elephants, is loss of habitat and the resulting human-elephant conflict.
In south Asia, it is the quest for land by an ever increasing human population that causes many illegal encroachments in elephant habitat, thus causing habitat loss and fragmentation. In some cases, it is development activities, such as roads, railway tracks, in crucial corridor areas that fragment the habitat.
As habitats contract and human populations expand, people and elephants are increasingly coming into contact with each other. Where farms border elephant habitat or cross elephant migration corridors, damage to crops and villages can become commonplace. This often leads to conflicts that elephants invariably lose. But loss of life can occur on both sides, as people may be trampled while trying to protect their livelihoods, and game guards often shoot "problem" elephants.
What are we doing about it?
Ivory stockpile destruction
Nations around the world have seized tons of illegally trafficked ivory since a ban on international trade of ivory went into effect in 1989.
An increasing number of countries along the trade chain from elephant range states to ivory consumer nations have publicly destroyed their confiscated ivory stockpiles through burning and crushing.
Reducing conflict between people and elephants:
WWF has trained elephants and local people to form a "flying squad" that drives wild elephants away from farms and back into the forests.To increase public support for elephant conservation by reducing conflict, WWF helps train wildlife managers and local communities to use modern methods and tools to mitigate human-elephant conflict. We mobilize communities to help protect their crops through elephant monitoring to provide early warning systems, erect fences where required, and educate communities to reduce conflict through behavior change.
Protecting elephant habitat:
WWF works with elephant range state governments, local people and non-governmental partners to secure a future for this powerful symbol of nature by thinking beyond protected areas. We advocate for large conservation landscapes like KAZA, the largest transboundary conservation area in the world. Home to almost 250,000 elephants, we work to maintain this space to provide elephants freedom to roam.