The Red List by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently showed that, African elephants living in forests and savannas are increasingly threatened with extinction.
- New assessments by IUCN underscore the persistent pressures that two species of elephants in Africa faces due to poaching for ivory and human encroachment.
- The survey also highlights that, savanna elephant was “endangered” while the smaller, lighter forest elephant was “critically endangered” as highest category before they got extinct from wild.
- Earlier, IUCN had treated both the species of elephants as “Vulnerable”.
- But later it separated them on the basis of genetic evidences which highlighted the difference between both the species.
Population of Savanna Elephants
- Data from IUCN cited that populations of savanna elephants from Africa are found in a variety of habitats which had decreased by around 60% over last 50 years.
- Number of forest elephants found in Central Africa had also fallen by 86% in 31 years. Presently, number of both the species of elephant’s accounts for 415,000.
- However, populations of some forest elephants were rebounding because of successful conservation measures like, measures taken by Gabon and Republic of Congo.
- As per IUCN, in Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area of South Africa, numbers of savanna were also stable or growing.
- It is a genus with two living elephant species that is, African bush elephant and smaller
- African forest elephant. Both the species are social herbivores having grey skin but they have different size and colour of their tusks.
- They are considered at heavy risk of extinction in the IUCN Red List.
- Bush elephant is considered endangered while forest elephant is considered critically endangered. Species are threatened by habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and poaching for the illegal ivory .