2011 saw the highest volume of illegal ivory seized since global records began in 1989. [65], According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, in 2014 the total population of African elephants was estimated to be around 700,000, and the Asian elephant population was estimated to be around 32,000. DailyMirror. Decrease of suitable habitat was the major cause for the decline of elephant populations until the 1950s. Loxodonte was proposed as generic name for the African elephant by Georges Cuvier in 1824. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- margin-bottom: 0.75em; Where farms border elephant habitat or cross elephant migration corridors, damage to crops and villages can become commonplace. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. African elephants care for wounded individuals and are unique in that they identify and look after elephant bones. The elephant's brain is similar to a human brain in terms of structure and complexity; the elephant's cortex has as many neurons as that of a human brain,[42] suggesting convergent evolution. This highly sensitive organ is innervated primarily by the trigeminal nerve, and thought to be manipulated by about 40–60,000 muscles. They are slightly larger than their Asian cousins and can be identified by their larger ears that look somewhat like the continent of Africa. Limited resources combined with remote and inaccessible elephant habitats make it difficult for governments to monitor and protect elephant herds. “We need the governments of the Lake Chad area to work together to secure the survival of these elephants.”. [33], When separate family units bond, they form kinship or bond groups. [30], African elephants are distributed in Sub-Saharan Africa, where they inhabit Sahelian scrubland and arid regions, tropical rainforests, mopane and miombo woodlands. [66] The International Union for Conservation of Nature released a report in September 2016 that estimates Africa's elephant population at 415,000. Fossil remains of Loxodonta species have been excavated in Africa, dating to the Middle Pliocene. When you are an elephant, that equates to finding and eating an awful lot of food. Poaching for the ivory trade is the biggest threat to African elephants’ survival. The population of African elephants in Southern Africa is large and expanding, with more than 300,000 within the region; Botswana has 200,000 and Zimbabwe 80,000. In the western African Kingdom of Dahomey (now part of Benin) the elephant was associated with the 19th century rulers of the Fon people, Guezo and his son Glele. Sadly, it is the forest elephants of Africa that are more at risk from the threat of poachers than any other, and their numbers continue to steadily decline. In 2019, a study showed that the suffering of elephants is tied to that of the humans living nearby: Regions with high levels of poverty and corruption are more likely to have higher poaching rates. Also known as "ecosystem engineers," elephants shape their habitat in many ways. [57] The trunk is a prehensile elongation of its upper lip and nose. We facilitate training in elephant conservation and management techniques and help update and enforce legislation to protect elephants. This article incorporates text from the ARKive fact-file "African elephant" under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GFDL. The government of Tanzania estimated that more than 85,000 elephants were lost to poaching in Tanzania between 2009 and 2014, representing a 60% loss. But they are now confined to a much smaller range. Male reproductive success is maximal in mid-adulthood and then begins to decline. [15] They are all considered synonymous with the African bush elephant.[1]. #mc_subheader { African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. As the world's largest land mammal, elephants have quite the commanding presence. The illegal demand for ivory is the biggest driver of elephant poaching. The elephants in north-east Nigeria make up one of the last great herds in west Africa. Our work is only possible with your support. The females will yell, in a loud, low way to attract males from far away. They reported that in the past decade, this is a decline of 111,000 elephants. The continent’s northernmost elephants are found in Sahel area of Mali. The bush elephants are found throughout central, eastern, and southern Africa. Learn about both Asian and African elephants and the threats facing these highly intelligent animals today. Elephants need a lot of room to roam, so habitat destruction and fragmentation not only makes it harder for them to find food, water, and each other, but it also puts them in increased conflict with humans—a dangerous prospect for both. Livraison 52 et 53", "Geographische Abarten des Afrikanischen Elefanten". Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. Short tactile hair grows on the trunk, which has two finger-like processes on the tip. Post sexual maturity, males begin to experience musth, a physical and behavioral condition that is characterized by elevated testosterone, aggression and more sexual activity. The people need a place to live and farm their crops and the elephants also need peaceful areas to travel. In contrast, savannah elephant populations in parts of southern Africa are large and expanding, with almost 300,000 elephants now roaming across the sub-region. Their first sighting in the region since the Boko Haram insurgency began was in December last year. list-style: none; Savannah elephants occur in eastern and southern Africa, with the highest densities found in Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa. Today, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as vulnerable to extinction. By 1970, their numbers were down to 1.3 million. © 2020 WWF - World Wide Fund For Nature© 1986 Panda Symbol WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund)® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark Creative Commons license. Anonymous was recognized as authority by the In… [31] African elephants are the world's largest terrestrial animals. [31] Human encroachment into natural areas where bush elephants occur or their increasing presence in adjacent areas has spurred research into methods of safely driving groups of elephants away from humans. #mc_unsub_link { line-height: 1.4em; [4] Populations of elephants—especially in southern and eastern Africa—that once showed promising signs of recovery could be at risk due to the recent surge in poaching for the illegal ivory trade. Conservation groups and governments have worked to set aside land for wildlife—including corridors that connect those protected lands. In 1989, the Kenyan Wildlife Service burned a stockpile of tusks in protest against the ivory trade. [3] The first scientific description of the African elephant was written by Johann Friedrich Blumenbach in 1797 who proposed the scientific name Elephas africanus.