Asian elephants have been domesticated for thousands of years. The powerful beasts have been employed to move heavy objects, such as felled trees, to carry humans on their backs, and even to wage war.
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Females produce sex pheromones; a principal component thereof, (Z)-7-dodecen-1-yl acetate, has also been found to be a sex pheromone in numerous species of insects.
These hungry animals do not sleep much, and they roam over great distances while foraging for the large quantities of food they require to sustain their massive bodies.
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Facing a high risk of extinction in the Wild
Elephants migrate as necessary to find habitat that contains sufficient vegetation and water to meet their enormous daily requirements. Although they are not territorial, they do move about within home ranges. The amount of movement within these ranges appears to be variable from region to region.
Facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the Wild
The pre-eminent threats to Asian elephants today are loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, leading in turn to increasing conflicts between humans and elephants. They are poached for ivory and a variety of other products including meat and leather.
All six sets of teeth are present in the skull at birth. They are, however, very small. Each successive set of teeth is larger, more complex, and lasts longer than the previous set. As a result, an elephant's skull grows throughout its lifetime to accommodate the new and ever-larger teeth. An elephant's age can be estimated by examining molar sequence and wear.
Habitat loss also forces elephants into close quarters with humans. In their quest for food, a single elephant can devastate a small farmer’s crop holding in a single feeding raid. This leaves elephants vulnerable to retaliatory killings, especially when people are injured or killed.
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Asian elephants are extremely sociable, forming groups of six to seven related females that are led by the oldest female, the matriarch. Like African elephants, these groups occasionally join others to form herds, although these associations are relatively transient.
Because of these threats, Asian elephant numbers are estimated to be between 30,000 and 50,000 animals. This estimate has such a wide range due to the extreme difficulty involved in trying to survey a population that is difficult to find and continuously changes. The low range is the definite and the upper range is the possible number, with the actual count being somewhere in the middle.
Wild males and females reach sexual maturity between eight and 13 years of age. Females usually have their first birth in their mid-teens. Behavioral studies tell us that males are unlikely to father a calf until they are in their thirties, when they are best able to compete with older, larger males.
In general, the Asian elephant is smaller than the African elephant and has the highest body point on the head. The back is convex or level. The ears are small with dorsal borders folded laterally. It has up to 20 pairs of ribs and 34 caudal vertebrae. The feet have more nail-like structures than those of African elephants—five on each forefoot, and four on each hind foot.
Conservationists are concerned that a loss of male big tuskers due to poaching could lead to inbreeding and eventually to high juvenile mortality and overall low breeding success. The loss of tuskers also reduces the probability that these longer-living lone males will mate and exchange genes with females of different sub-populations.
Central Africa has lost 64 percent of its elephants in a decade, while 75 percent of all African elephant populations are in decline.
Asian elephants are found in isolated pockets of India and Southeast Asia, including Sumatra and Borneo. Asian elephants were formerly widely distributed south of the Himalayas, throughout Southeast Asia and in China as far north as the Yangtze River.
The largest living land mammals, elephants are intelligent, social and vital to their ecosystems. Slightly smaller than their African cousins, Asian elephants are native to India and Southeast Asia. Much of what scientists know about wild elephant behavior comes from research done on African bush elephant studies. Research on wild endangered Asian elephants is difficult and sparse, and zoo elephants are valuable sources of knowledge.
A major breakthrough was achieved in Sumatra with the 2004 declaration of Tesso Nilo National Park, a protected area, which represents a significant step towards the protection of the elephant's habitat. The Tesso Nilo forest is one of the last forest blocks large enough to support a viable population of critically endangered Sumatran elephants and is also home to the critically endangered Sumatran tiger.
The main threat facing Indian elephants, like all Asian elephants is loss of habitat, which then results in human-elephant conflict. In South Asia, an ever-increasing human population has led to many illegal encroachments in elephant habitat. Many infrastructure developments like roads and railway tracks also fragment habitat. Elephants become confined to “islands” as their ancient migratory routes are cut off. Unable to mix with other herds, they run the risk of inbreeding.
Proposed Subspecies "E. m. borneensis" (Borneo pygmy elephant) - subspecies status proposed Originally considered a distinct subspecies Later believed to be feral E. m. sumatranus or E. m. indicus Recent studies indicate it is genetically distinct and has lived on Borneo for up to 30,000 years (Fernando 2003) Formal recognition as a subspecies awaits a detailed morphological analysis Common Names
Female elephants (cows) live in family herds with their young, but adult males (bulls) tend to roam on their own.
WWF calls on the government of Indonesia, palm oil companies, members of the pulp and paper industry and conservation organizations, to work together to conserve Sumatran elephants, and their unique habitat. Because Sumatra’s trees are rooted in carbon-rich deep peat soil, the high rate of deforestation is also causing high amounts of carbon to be released into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.
Their burrow systems range from simple to complex and they usually have several burrow systems, which they occupy in rotation for several months at a time. They spread out to forage independently, but maintain visual and vocal contact.
This is a place where gorillas, hippos and elephants can be found walking, playing and resting along pristine sandy beaches...
The trunk is a fusion of the nose and upper lip. It contains no bones, but is composed of muscles, blood and lymph vessels, nerves, little fat, connective tissues, skin, hair and bristles. Cartilage is found only at the base of the trunk, dividing the nostrils. The trunk has about 150,000 muscle units and tendons that provide the elephant precision as well as strength of movement.
Asian elephants inhabit a wide range of grasslands and forest types, including scrub forest, rainforest and semi-cultivated forests, preferring areas that combine grass with low woody plants and trees (6).
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Does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Near Threatened
Elephant skin varies from paper thin in some places, such as on the inside of the ears, to as thick as 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) in other places, such as around the back. Despite its thickness, the skin is sensitive, having a rich nerve supply. Elephants protect their skin from the sun and bugs by regularly covering themselves with dirt, sand and mud.
Slightly smaller than their African cousins, adult Asian elephants weigh on average between 6,000 and 12,000 pounds (2,750 and 5,420 kilograms). They typically stand 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.8 meters) at the shoulder. Males are usually larger than females.
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Asian elephant; Elephant d'Asie (Fr); Elefante Asiàtico (Sp)
Tusks are modified upper incisors that grow throughout an individual's life at the rate of 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 centimeters) a year. They are composed of ivory. Ivory is similar to bone, being made up mostly of calcium and phosphate. The tusk contains a pulp cavity, containing nerve tissues. In an adult animal, about two thirds of the tusk is visible while the remaining one third is embedded in the socket, or sulcus, in the cranium.