Most people only ever get to see elephants in zoos. They never really get to see elephants in their natural habitats unless they do a wildlife expedition. That is where African elephant conservation organizations can help people learn about elephants and their natural habitats.
This can help people better understand why elephants need to be saved. That is why our team wants to answer some of the most asked questions: where do elephants live, and what role do they play in their environments.
Where do elephants live
One of the places you can find elephants is in Africa’s savannas. This African ecosystem is known for its grasses and small trees dispersed around the landscape. The savannas experience warm temperatures all year round but get large amounts of rain during the summer.
One of the most notable animals living in the savannas is the African savanna elephant. These elephants are the largest out of all kinds of elephants. The female elephants (cows) usually live in large herds, while the male elephants (bulls) live in small bachelor pods or alone.
African savanna elephants play a crucial role in the savannas because they help disperse seeds, reduce tree densities and create watering holes for smaller animals. Without these large animals, other animals would not be able to survive. Sadly, African savanna elephants are classified as endangered.
Another place you can find elephants are in Africa’s rainforests. These rainforests have tall trees and typically see rainfall all year round. Africa’s rainforests cover almost 2.2 million square miles from east to west Africa.
Chimpanzees, gorillas, okapi and African forest elephants call this place home. The African forest elephant should not be confused with the African savanna elephant because they are genetically different. These kinds of elephants are smaller and have straighter tusks that point downward.
African forest elephants are critical to Africa’s rainforests because they disperse seeds and create gaps in the vegetation for new plants to grow or create pathways. Unfortunately, as important as these animals are to keep Africa’s rainforests alive, they are on the brink of extinction. African savanna elephants are listed as critically endangered due to poaching and deforestation.
Asia’s grasslands and wet forests
Asian elephants are usually found in 13 countries spanning south and southeast Asia. These large animals habitat the grasslands and wet forests. Most of Asia’s tropical rainforests are located in Indonesia, the Malay peninsula, Laos and Cambodia.
There you can find the three subspecies of Asian elephants - the Indian, Sumatran and Sri Lankan elephant. Asian elephants are much smaller than both kinds of African elephants. Also, a large number of male Asian elephants are tuskless.
Asian elephants are important to their environment because they shape the thick vegetation of Asia's landscapes, gaps in the trees and dig watering holes. However, their populations are declining due to poaching, deforestation and human-elephant conflicts. They are currently listed as endangered.
Do you want to support African elephant conservation organizations?
Then, join our Herd of Heroes program! This program gives you the opportunity to make a monthly gift of your choice that supports our mission of improving the lives of elephants. Do not forget to also subscribe to our newsletter.