Indian Elephant Crisis
The Indian elephant, scientific name being Elaphas Maximus, is one of the three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephants and is a native animal to the mainland of Asia. Since 1986, thee Elaphas Maximus has been listed as an endangered species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as their population has slowly been declining and reaching an all-time low of a 50% decrease over the past three generations. Asian elephants are constantly being threatened by the loss of their habitat, constant degradation and fragmentation going on. These elephants are not only a cultural icon in India and throughout Asia, but they also help maintain the integrity of their forests and help preserve their grassland habitats.
Many people have a hard time understanding the difference between the Asian elephant and the more commonly known African Elephant. The Asian elephant is substantially smaller in size, has a rounder head, and has a back that is more convexed and leveled than those of the African elephants. They also have profoundly smoother skin with fewer wrinkles with larger trunks to help reach higher trees and food sources. Asian elephants have one main lobe of flesh at the tip of their trunk while African elephants have two lobes that act as potential fingers and help them grasp objects such as twigs more easily. Both the African male and female elephant provide poachers with sufficient quality tusks, but mainly the Asian females are the ones with the trunks.
The Indian elephants are mainland animals to Asia including India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, China, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Their habitat consists of a variety of tropical forests and lowlands along with dry semi-deciduous forests, scrubland, grasslands and cool mountain forests with elevation up to 3000m. They spend most of their day feeding on anything from seeds, roots, fruit, flowers, leaves, branches, bark, grass, sugar cane, stems, to even thorns to subdue...
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