Photo credit: Etienne de Waal
The African Elephant, Loxodonta africana, is listed as ‘VULNERABLE’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. It is the largest living terrestrial animal and is found across much of sub-Saharan Africa, but its populations are becoming increasingly fragmented.
Historically, poaching for ivory and meat has been the main cause of the African Elephant’s decline. However, while illegal hunting remains a significant threat in some areas, habitat loss and fragmentation due to human population expansion and rapid land conversion pose major challenges over much of the range, and increase the incidence of human-elephant conflict.
The African Elephant receives various degrees of legal protection throughout its range, and international trade in elephant ivory is controlled under CITES. Sport hunting is permitted in some countries, and several countries have CITES export quotas for elephant trophies. Effective management and conservation has been successful in increasing elephant numbers in southern and eastern Africa, but varying approaches are needed for the specific problems facing this charismatic species in different countries and regions across its range.
To learn more about African Elephants, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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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.