Asian Elephant-Elephas Maximus
2. Purpose: To learn how and why the Asian Elephant got on the endangered species list. Elephants are one of the largest land mammals in the world and they have been targets to man and other animals.
3. Background: My overall background the Asian Elephant is very limited. I know that they come from Asian and many were hunter for their tusks. You can find a few Asian Elephants at the local zoos and there is always controversy on elephants and the circus. There have laws put in place to make it illegal to hunt elephants for their skin and their tusks but I don’t know how strict that law. I know some hunters who have a license to hunt in Asian and he has trophies of lions, zebras, hippos and even elephants. Elephants are herbivores and they don’t seem like aggressive animals.
4. Hypothesis: I think the main reason why the Asian Elephant has become endangered is because man use to hunt them like crazy for their tusks and their skin. Ivory was huge back in the day and many elephants and many died in vicious attacks for it. Also I would have to say a lot of elephants were also captured for the purpose of circuses and slave labor. Of course I could be wrong about the slave labor thing because I got that from the movies.
5. Data: The Asian Elephant are found in Asia in and around tropical rainforests, forest, grasslands areas, and scrub.( 1) They are one of the largest land mammal to walk the earth and they are on the verge of extinction.The Asian Elephants are known to have smaller tusks than the African Elephants and d their heads are very big with large lumps on them. The Asian Elephants have been used over 4,000 years as tamed animals in the time of war and peace in the Asian countries. A lot of people have looked at these creatures as gods or some type of royalty because they are so huge and sweet. Plus they are more likely to be recruited in the circus than their fellow elephant the African Elephant. Figure 1 shows the Asian Elephants in their environment. The environment has been changing for the Asian Elephants, [pic]
Figure 1: A family of Asian Elephants
so they once were commonly found in India but now they have been spotted in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Nepal and even in South China.(3) The biggest reason why these elephants are spread out through Asia now is because man has interrupted the land they use to live on. With farms, ranches popping up and land being cleared, many Asia Elephants are forced to travel to new parts to survive or die. Asian Elephants are in direct competition with humans the right to live on the land. This is the biggest reason why the Asian Elephants are now on the Endangered Species List and why they cannot get off it.
Besides their habitat being destroyed, the other main reasons why the Asian Elephants are on the endangered species list because of poaching for their tusks. Compare to the African Elephants, the Asian Elephants tusks are much smaller so they tend not to be poached as much but ivory poaching was very huge in the 80’s either way. At the turn of the century the population of the Asian Elephants were near 100,000 but today there are less then 50,000 left both in the wild and in captivity.(4) As they travel to new parts of Asia they become targets again because of the ivory they have in their tusks. By 1989 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) imposed a law prohibiting poaching. Unfortunely, the Asian Elephants today are still poached for their skin and tusks. When the elephants are on the move to a new location they are not just looking for plenty of food and water but they are looking for less human activity. A place with yummy plants, shrubs and fruits would the perfect place for the Asian Elephant hang out as long as humans are not around. Hunters love hunting the elephants because of how big they are. Its pretty hard blend into the surrounds when you’re...
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