Video: Asian Elephant

Posted on 20 January 2004  | 
The Asian elephant is the largest terrestrial mammal in Asia. It is smaller than the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), with relatively smaller ears, and the head (not the shoulder) is the highest part of the body.

Although many thousands of domesticated Asian elephants are found in Southeast Asia, this magnificent animal is threatened by extinction in the wild: in the face of rapidly growing human populations, the Asian elephant's habitat is shrinking fast.

Wild elephant populations are mostly small, isolated, and unable to join as ancient migratory routes are cut off by human settlements. Confrontations between elephants and people often lead to deaths on both sides, and poaching for ivory, meat and hides is still a widespread problem.

A species that needs space
Through the Asian Rhinos and Elephants Action Strategy (AREAS), WWF is working throughout the Asian elephant range to conserve the remaining populations and their habitats. And because these large animals need a lot of space to survive, WWF considers the Asian elephant a 'flagship' species, whose conservation would help maintain biological diversity and ecological integrity over extensive areas.
Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are increasingly coming into conflict with humans as their habitat disappears.
© WWF-Canon / Martin Harvey Enlarge

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