HABITAT



African Elephants can be found in many different places, including: dry savanna's, deserts, marshes, and lake shores. They mostly reside in the Sub-Sahara regions in Africa, but things are changing drastically in these areas. Now you can find them scattered out into a larger range because of the increase in agriculture and farm land in African nations. African Elephants are able to adapt to new environments easily, which is a great thing for their survival. There are also a small amount of forest African Elephants that live among the dense equatorial Central African Forest. African Elephants are most common in: Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. Elephants are able to live in Africa because they are able to thrive well in the Savanna and the woodlands surrounding it.

Asian Elephants prefer to live in areas with mixed grasses. They also enjoy low-woody plants and trees. You can primarily see them in dry thorn-scrub forests in Southern India, the Evergreen Forests in Malaya, and Sir Lanka. These forests are open with low vegetation such as thorny trees with short trunks and low, branching crowns that rarely meet to form a closed canopy. In this vegetation, the trees attain maximum heights of 6-9 m (20-30 ft). They stay in areas of the forests near water sources. Asian Elephants strive well in forests because they can tear down trees and pick up the leaves and grass with their trunks easily. They are able to live off of all of the vegetation and water that is naturally in these forests.

India now has less than 20% of it's original forest coverage. Thailand and Indonesia both have cleared most of their forests as well. Forest clearing for human need has left a lot of Elephants without proper coverage from human interaction. Habitat loss is due to the following:
plantations - needed for tea, coffee, palm oil, and rubber
large development projects - building of dams, roads, mines, and industrial complexes
These limitations bring huge conflicts with humans. Elephants are larger than us, and need more space than we are giving them. Elephants often need ranges up to 600km2 to live a happy life. Often times this causes "pocketing" of Elephants in small corners of a forest. This makes food supply scarce, and water requirements low. This leads to starvation and dehydration of Elephants, which most likely leads to death.
b a c k   .   c l e a r   .   f o r w a r d