The Risks   Elephant Life

Conservation Efforts

Currently there are many conservation efforts to stabilize and increase global elephant populations, attempts to save elephant habitats, and endeavors to teach as well as learn to share environments.

Population Growth and Habitat Protection

Protection regulations such as those found in Botswana are in place to guard the existing African elephant population as well as encouraging the procreation of the species. The Botswanian government has designated large areas of land for refuges, protected national parks, game reserves, and wildlife management areas, giving these herds places to forage, live, breed, and raise families; as a result, the people of Botswana are nurturing one of their most valuable natural and economic resources to full fruition.

Population Retention and Poaching Prevention

Harsh penalties in many Asian countries have made a reduction in population decreases due to poaching Asian elephants, but poaching is still a very real population threat to these animals. Because only male Asian elephants have tusks, poaching causes an incredible imbalance between the numbers of each sex; this leads to decreased reproduction rates as well as damage to the genetic makeup of these animals as there are fewer diverse mates. Research is now showing that there is a growing prevalence of tusk-less males being born, as the tusk gene is slowly disappearing through evolutionary changes. It is possible that if the tusks disappear completely out of wild Asian elephants due to this genetic evolution, these populations will increase because ivory poaching will be obsolete. Until then, researchers state that the most effective tool against devastating numbers of poaching deaths is educating the international public about the horrors of poaching for ivory.

Environment Cohabitation

Because the human population in elephant-inhabited environments must learn to coexist with these animals, governments, researchers, and communities are discovering the best ways to share their surroundings.
Farmers who fence in their property and livestock will almost surely cause more problems for themselves and elephants than those who let their livestock free range and choose not to fence in their crops. This is because elephants are excellent fence-crashers, and the additional obstacle to necessary food can injure the elephant and cause the farmer more money and wasted time. Elephant conservationists are teaching villagers who share land with elephant herds ways to diminish crop raiding and other human-elephant conflicts. Methods such as teaching the village raiding movements of elephants in the area and learning about alternative deterrents such as applying pepper spray and mace over their crops to irritate the elephants’ delicate ocular and nasal membranes, teaching them to stay away from fields while not causing them life threatening harm or killing them. Other educational topics include strategic placement of fields away from the borders of wild elephant habitats, alternative crop harvesting methods, and discovering income sources other than farming or industries that will further deplete the elephant’s habitat.

The Risks   Elephant Life
 

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