IUCN Species of the Day: Asian Elephant


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm)


Photo credit: Goldy Rajiv Santhoji


The Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is found in isolated populations in 13 tropical Asian countries. The Asian Elephant is smaller than its African savannah relative; the ears are smaller and the back is more rounded.

 The numbers of Asian Elephants have been decimated by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, driven by an expanding human population. This causes elephants to become increasingly isolated, often coming into conflict with local farmers. Crops are damaged and lives lost; up to 300 people a year are killed by elephants in India. Poaching for ivory is also a threat and because only males have tusks, populations can become extremely skewed towards females, thus affecting breeding rates.

 The most important conservation priorities for the Asian Elephant are: conservation of their habitat and maintaining habitat connectivity by securing corridors; management of human–elephant conflicts; improved legislation and law enforcement with enhanced field patrolling;and regulating/curbing trade in ivory and other elephant products.


Geographic Range of Asian ElephantsCredit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species


To learn more about Asian Elephants, click here.  Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species by clicking their logo below.



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