COMMON NAME: African Elephant

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Loxodonta africana

TYPE: Mammals

DIET: Herbivores

GROUP NAME: Herd

AVERAGE LIFE SPAN IN THE WILD: Up to 70 years

SIZE: Height at the shoulder, 8.2 to 13 ft

WEIGHT: 2.5 to 7 tons

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

The African Elephant is the world's largest living animal and is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ with only around 415 000 remaining. They are found across much of sub- Saharan Africa, but its populations are becoming increasingly fragmented. 

 Map of Africa- Where African Elephants are Found

The two primary factors behind the decline of African elephants – demand for ivory and changes in land-use – still pose a serious threat to the species today with an estimated 20 000 African Elephant being killed every year. 

 

 

Despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers. Tens of thousands of elephants are being killed every year for their ivory tusks. The ivory is often carved into ornaments and jewellery – Asia being the single biggest consumer market for such products. Insufficient anti-poaching capacity, weak law enforcement and corruption undermine efforts to stop the poaching and trafficking in most countries.

Unfortunately, most elephant habitat still extends outside protected areas, and the rapid growth of human populations and the extension of agriculture into rangelands and forests, formerly considered unsuitable for farming, mean that elephant habitat is continuing to be lost. As such, man and elephant are increasingly coming into conflict with one another and, as history has shown, wildlife conservation is a distant concern in such situations.

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