All of the elephant research points towards the African elephant being one of the most important mammals in their ecosystem! The elephants are known to be the keystone herbivorous species of Africa because of their natural habits and location on the continent.
These elephants needs a considerable amount of space to help keep the African ecosystem balanced, but what exactly is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is how all living things and organisms all live in their environment. Each ecosystem in a region, state or country can be 100 percent different than other ecosystems in the area and their biomes. In an ecosystem, each individual animal, person or organism all play a key role in keeping the biomes a healthy and safe place for everyone and everything.
A great example is a lake. A lake has a number of animals that inhabit that ecosystem that include, but are not limited to:
All of these plants, animals and organisms all need to cohesively live with one another to keep the ecosystem in balance. When a stranger comes into the ecosystem, such as an invasive species, this can negatively affect the ecosystem which can destroy or harm the entire ecosystem!
The African Savanna ecosystem is a tropical grassland with warm temperatures all year-round with the wet season being during the summer months. However, when the wet season is not there, the ground will be desert like with a few trees to protect animals against the constant sunlight.
The African ecosystem is one of the most diverse ecosystems on our planet due to the animals and food chains.
The elephant’s critical role
Elephants are the largest land mammals and are the most important in all of their ecosystems that they inhabit, even to humans. Due to elephant research conducted in Africa, studies show that elephants are the gardener, contractors, roads and the overall balancers in the ecosystem!
Time and time again, elephant research shows that elephants help to garden the land. Yes, elephant droppings are what improve soil and help produce new plants by distributing seeds and nuts. Their nutrient-rich manure from their droppings help the soil and create plant diversity!
Elephants are the contractors of the savanna by knocking down trees and creating new spaces for smaller mammals and animals to inhabit. Due to an elephants size and weight, as these mammals walk miles and miles across the land, it helps create water holes, new pathways for animals and they dig riverbeds when water is low.
As one can tell, elephants play a vital role in the African ecosystem and without these animals the ecosystem would not be thriving. That is why at For Elephants, we're taking bold steps to ensure they don't go extinct in the wild or zoos. You can help too, by making a small donation to support our research or shop our comfy t-shirts.