In case you didn’t know, the elephant populations are declining. Scientists have found between 1979 and 1989, half of the world’s African elephant population was lost. Diseases aren’t killing elephants and we must raise awareness of the declining rates to the world’s largest land animal. We want to share with you two factors that are causing elephants rates to decline.
African elephants are losing their homes.
African elephants are not small animals. They are considered the largest land animals. They can stand at eleven feet and require lots of room to roam. African elephants typically live in two areas of Africa: the savannah and forests.
The problem is African elephants are starting to lose their habitat. African forest elephants are losing the trees from humans who are chopping them down. The growing human population is using the forest for timber or agriculture purposes. Over time they could leave these elephants and other forest animals without a place to call home.
Not only are humans cutting down forests, but they are also expanding the savannah. People are starting to harvest crops and develop their villages. This expansion can become a problem when people begin to live where elephants usually roam and live.
It can be dangerous because elephants can trample crops and cause farmers to lose their crops. In some cases, elephants can even kill humans if they are startled. Having a space where African elephant population can roam without harming humans is essential.
African elephants are being poached.
If you have ever seen an elephant in person or even in pictures, you will notice that they have long tusks coming out of their mouths. These protruding tusks were originally teeth. Over time, these teeth start to come out and help elephants.
Elephants use tusks as if they are hands. They use them in multiple ways; to gather food, a defensive mechanism or to dig. As useful as tusks are to elephants, some people want to take them away.
An elephants tusk is made up of ivory. Ivory is a hard creamy-white hard, dense tissue. People are willing to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for an item made out of ivory. It is a luxury good which displays money.
Some countries have tried to put a stop in selling ivory. Countries like Asia have banned the sale completely. However, this ban has not stopped poachers from bringing elephants down. China, Philippines, Thailand and the United States are the top countries who are mostly like to purchase ivory.
How you can help
Now that you know why African elephants are declining due to these two factors, you can help and stop this. It all starts with educating others. Spread the word of why ivory sales should be banned. Tell friends and family. Share it on the internet.
You can also help the African elephant population. For Elephants, we are researching to help improve the death rates and help birth rates by understanding the causes of morbidity, mortality and poor reproductive performance to prevent captive extinction. You can donate a small amount to our research and conservation today.