Bull elephants depart the matriarchal herd when they reach sexual maturity, then move alone or in bachelor herds. Herds can consist of individuals or more, and they can move huge distances in search of food and water; for example, elephants in the deserts of Mali migrate across an area of 12, square miles.
African savannah elephants can be found in a variety of habitats, including open and closed savannah, and arid deserts i.
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Namibia and Mali. African forest elephants primarily inhabit dense rainforest, although they can be found in surprising places, like oceanic beaches i. African elephants face a risk of extinction in the near future due to a number of threats, including illegal killing for the ivory trade, habitat destruction through human population expansion and agriculture, and subsequent persecution for raiding crops and destroying buildings.
Elephants also experience considerable physical suffering and psychological distress from being kept in captivity for human entertainment, exhibiting uncharacteristic behaviour, higher infant mortality and reduced life spans. We work across Kenya, Ethiopia, Cameroon and Zimbabwe monitoring and protecting wild elephant populations. Our dedicated projects work to reduce human-wldlife conflict and support ranger patrols to protect wild elephants from poaching.
Born Free investigates poaching, exposes illegal ivory smuggling and international ivory trading. Note: Numbers in some subpopulations in parts of African elephant range are declining, but over two thirds of African elephants live in Eastern and Southern Africa where numbers are increasing.
Therefore select subpopulations can be considered endangered, while the overall status of the species is threatened. It is considered to be a single species, Loxodonta africana with two subspecies, L.
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Some recent genetic research has suggested that the forest elephant is genetically different from the savanna elephant and represent a separate species of elephant Comstock et al. Ongoing and future genetic studies of elephants throughout Africa will ultimately determine their classification.
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Loxodonta africana currently occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with the majority of the population living in the savanna of southern, western, and eastern Africa and the forest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Zaire Spinage Much of the extant population is fragmented by human activities disturbing traditional migratory routes. One of the highest projected human population growth in the next 25 years is expected in sub-Saharan Africa. The total fertility rate for African women remains high at nearly six live births per woman.
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To avoid malnutrition, sub-Saharan Africa will need to increase its food production three-fold, turning existing elephant habitat into cropland, exacerbating the problem of declining elephant populations and habitat fragmentation. By the middle ages, the species became extinct in northern Africa primarily due to the ivory trade Scullard Overhunting during the 18th and 19th centuries depleted elephant numbers in Southern Africa Hall-Martin Controlled hunting, a drop in the price of ivory, and the development of wildlife preserves following World War I saw the population of elephants once again increase within Africa.
In the s, the increase in the price of ivory reignited the poaching of elephants. The population, estimated to be at about 1.
Status Check for African Elephants
Due to uncontrolled poaching, in the African elephant was listed as Appendix I endangered by CITES which placed an international trade ban on elephants and elephant products. This remains the case today. Appendix II classifies these populations as threatened and allows some limited trade in elephant products with certain restrictions, quotas, and permits.
Currently, some elephant populations in Africa are subject to uncontrolled poaching and being hunted for bushmeat. The forest elephant is particularly susceptible, increasingly so as the forests are being logged, attracting more people and making elephant habitat more accessible by building roads. They demonstrate an excess of elephants by increased elephant-human conflicts and elephant influenced habitat modification, which adversely affects population numbers of other species.