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Unheard Voices - Elephants

Posted by Rossoyuki . on

Unheard Voices - Elephants

The Elephant

Conservation Status - Vulnerable (around 50,000 remain) - Population Increasing.

Human impact on Elephants -

1. Elephant-human conflict - Elephant are not only being squeezed into smaller and smaller areas, but farmers plant crops that elephants like to eat. As a result, elephants frequently raid and destroy crops. They can be very dangerous too. Crop Raiding is a result of habitat loss and fragmentation. When elephants and humans interact, there is conflict from crop raiding, injuries, and deaths to humans caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans for reasons other than ivory and habitat degradation.

2. Poaching - Fueled by poverty, greed and ruthless or ignorant buyers, poaching peaked once more during the period between 2008 to 2015. The killing of elephants for their tusks spiraled out of control, accounting for as many as 30,000 to 40,000 elephant mortalities each year. To this figure add the thousands of calves who die as a result of their mother's deaths, and the trauma and devastation caused by the slaughter. Even if the total number of killed elephants may have gone down during 2015 to 2018, human-elephant conflict results in the killing, injuring, spearing, poisoning, and snaring of hundreds of elephants across Africa and Asia every month.

The ivory trade is fuelling organized crime and insecurity as traffickers smuggle tusks through the same networks as other high-value illegal goods such as drugs. Ultimately the trade is driven by demand for ivory in consumer countries, mostly in the East, where it is sought after as a status symbol and an investment.

3. Zoos & Circuses - Elephants will continue to be fenced, chased, driven, captured, translocated, abducted for sale to zoos and circuses, where they suffer inconceivable metal and physical horrors.

4. Overgrazing - When grazing goes unchecked, it can quickly eliminate grass in an area. This means less food for both livestock and wildlife, including elephants, and leads to soil erosion that impacts the growth of grass in the future. It is important to identify and allocate grazing land for livestock away from wildlife areas unless tight controls can be established.


Why are elephants important?

Elephants are among the most intelligent of the creatures with whom we share the planet, with complex consciousnesses that are capable of strong emotions. Across Africa they have inspired respect from the people that share the landscape with them, giving them a strong cultural significance. As icons of the continent elephants are tourism magnets, attracting funding that helps protect wilderness areas. They are also keystone species, playing an important role in maintaining the biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they live.

Elephants eat seeds, transport them around in their guts and then ‘plant’ them in their dung. Studies have suggested that some elephants can disperse seeds as far as 57km. Elephant dung is a perfect fertilizer, rich in nutrients to allow seeds to germinate and grow. Elephant seed dispersal provides opportunities for plants to colonize new areas, providing new habitats for a range of animals.

Elephants dig wells to access water underground. They will use their feet, trunks, and tusks to create a hole and reach the water. These elephant-made watering holes are then available for all animals to drink from.

What can you do?

Donate and/or spread the word. - the more we share and educate the ones around us, the more we encourage and open peoples mind. Kindness can be taught.

Promoting co-existence requires understanding the needs and perspectives of both people and elephants, and willingness among us human-beings to share diminishing natural resources for the benefit of other species and ourselves.

1. https://www.savetheelephants.org

2. https://elephantconservation.org/fundraising/donate/


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References -

https://www.savetheelephants.org/about-elephants-2-3-2/importance-of-elephants/

https://www.gvi.co.uk/blog/4-reasons-need-elephants/

https://www.savetheelephants.org/about-elephants-2-3-2/threats-to-elephants/

http://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/endangered_species/elephants/asian_elephants/areas/issues/elephant_human_conflict/

https://www.elephantvoices.org/threats-to-elephants.html



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