The African Elephant is the largest land mammal on the earth, and has a great impact on the world around it. While they were once grouped together there are actually 2 species of elephants in Africa: the Savanna elephant (bush) and the African forest elephant (sub-sahara). Elephants are known as ecosystem engineers that play a key role in the world around them. Keep reading to find out why elephant conservation is so important.
The subspecies of African elephants differ in both habitat and size, the Savanna bush elephant is larger and roams the grassy plains and woodlands. While the smaller African forest elephant is equatorial and lives in central and western Africa. In addition to those differences, the Savannah elephants have tusks that curve outwards, while the African forest elephants are darker and their tusks are straighter and downward pointing.
African Elephant Endangerment Status
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists Savanna elephants as endangered and the African forest elephant as critically endangered. Both species of African elephants endangered, suffered a sharp decline in numbers beginning in 2008 due to a significant increase in poaching, which peaked in 2011 continuing to threaten the African forest elephant and Savannah elephant populations. Their habitat is also continuously being converted to agricultural and other land uses, which is another significant threat to these amazing creatures.
Elephant Conservation Efforts
The African elephant endangered status has led to many conservation efforts around the world. Organizations such as Empowers Africa, a non-profit that helps with conservation efforts, have programs like the Elephant-Human Relations Aid. The PEACE Education Project aims to facilitate a peaceful existence between humans and elephants. They are doing this by helping communities secure their livelihoods, reducing fear and intolerance, and promoting a peaceful, mutually beneficial relationship between people and elephants. To help with this initiative you can donate to the PEACE Education Project here.
World Wildlife Foundations
The WWF has an African Elephant Programme that is committed to elephant conservation and is designed to help guarantee a future for these amazing animals. The program hopes to improve elephant management and protection by providing both training and equipment to anti-poaching teams. The program also aims to reduce the illegal trade of elephant products and mitigate human and elephant conflict. You may be wondering how you can help, you can donate to the African Elephant Programme here.
African Conservation Experience – Eco Tour
With the African Conservation Experience you can volunteer with elephants in Africa. You’ll get to know these gigantic creatures while joining in the fight to help save them. As a volunteer on the elephant conservation project, you’ll get to know about the behavior and threats facing the African forest elephant and the Savannah elephant. You will work closely with field researchers and conservation managers in South Africa and Namibia, and you’ll make a real difference to African elephant conservation. The Elephant Conservation Experiences start at around $2,000 for two weeks including transfers, meals and accommodation.
Find out about more amazing animals and conservation efforts by reading:
The African forest elephant and Savanna bush elephant are both endangered species. And with elephants, impact on their native ecosystems is important to help elephant conservation efforts to save these enormous beautiful creatures. You can donate to one of the organizations above or even go on an elephant eco tour if you want to make a real difference to elephant conservation.
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