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 the Asian Elephant

Credit: 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.

To learn more about the Bush Warriors “Species of the Day” feature, please click here and read up on our initiative to raise awareness about the loss of earth’s biodiversity.


Tell the world what’s happening to the world’s largest land mammal, by participating in our ‘Walking on Wildlife‘ campaign! CLICK HERE TO LEARN HOW!

Walking on Wildlife in Semaphore, South Australia. Done by Jude Price and Kaye Brown. Watch these Bush Warriors in action in the video below!

Learn how to do your own ‘Walking on Wildlife’ HERE!


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5 Responses to “IUCN Species of the Day: Asian Elephant”

  1. betty murphy Says:

    One of the most glorious species we have on this Mother Earth and we are destroying them one after another…Asian eles, African eles…WHY….3 guesses……:-((((

  2. Melanie Cameron Says:

    I will never understand why people use these animals for their own benefit, whether shackled or cowed to be used as transport. These are wild animals and should be left in the wild. I remember all to clearly the photo of a circus elephant who escaped the circus in Hawaii and the fear in that animals eyes will haunt me for ever as it got shot over 50x. Circus life or being used as a bulldozer or transport for elephant safari’s is deplorable and against nature. There are some bush aficionado’s that say that Elephants are a nuisance species and that no game reserve really want them as they eat to much and destroy the habitat and they have to culled and are better of being used as transport for elephant safaris but i would let them read what Mr Lawrence Anthony and his Earth Organization have to say on the matter and i think he knows what he is talking about being the author of the Elephant Whisperer and he is not alone in the theory that there are no ‘upper limits’ to having Elephants in such a place as the Kruger.

    p.s. i apologize for digressing on to mentioning African Elephants on a Asian Elephant post.

    • betty murphy Says:

      Not to worry, Melanie…mentioning African eles in an Asian ele post can never be a “bad” thing…they all need help, they are all being eliminated one after the other…WE OWE THEM ALL EVERYTHING WE CAN DO! There is no competition here :-))))

  3. Georaphically it seems that Africa and Asia is where prodominantly human/animal conflict and trophy/poaching takes place. I could be wrong, I’m just taking the petition sites/articles as a guideline. It is quite obvious as to where the problem lies. The one is poor government control (incompitence and corruption), increased population with the need of subsidary farming thus competing for space effecting wildlife and the other greed and lack of respect for life either fauna and flora. And to add to the problem is the global climatic change causing droughts, floods and rising sea levels.
    Climate change we will have to contend with. The others are problems that can be resolved to soften the blow of climatic change. The wildlife kingdom desperately requires a solution, the problem exists extensively around the globe and there is almost a need for a central international body that has the power to intervene, capture and prosecute those guilty and condemn any countries that supports the trade of animal body parts with sanctions. Time is running out and we are presently facing a serious scale of extinction.
    World leaders need to address the problem properly!! Just way out of control at the expense of the wild and will have a deverstating effect for mankind!!

  4. Akhilesh Chipli Says:

    In captivity there are few hundred of Asian elephants are living. In wild day-to-day they are facing near extinction. Because of their tusks, because of illegal electric fencing, gun-shot etc… Any new idea or law to protect these majestic animals????

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