Asian elephants, found in grasslands and tropical forests across 13 countries in South and Southeast Asia, are one of the largest land mammals on the planet. They live in closely-related family units, called herds, of approximately 5-10 individuals, led by a dominant female or “matriarch”.
This species is currently threatened by habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation driven by an expanding human population; conflict between humans and elephants, which occurs when elephants eat or trample crops and injure or kill people; poaching for ivory, meat and leather; and from collision with railway trains. As a result Asian elephant populations have declined by at least 50% in the last three generations, leading to them being listed as Endangered on the IUCN* Red List of Threatened Species.
Large numbers of Asian elephants are held in captivity in range countries in zoos, temples or for use to carry tourists or in the timber industry. Asian elephants continue to be exported overseas for exhibition in zoos or for private keeping.
Part of the Elephant Campaign