The Asian elephant is a species of elephant that can be found in Southeast Asia, from India in the west to Borneo in the east. They are the largest living land animals residing in Asia. Compared to the African elephant, they are usually smaller. Three subspecies are recognized; Sri Lankan elephants, Indian elephants, and Sumatran elephants. Asian elephants have been classified as endangered by the IUCN since 1986, as the population has decreased by at least 50% over the past three generations. They are most threatened by degradation, fragmentation and loss of habitat, and poaching by humans. In 2003, the wild Asian elephant population was estimated to be between 41,410 and 52,345 individuals.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Asian elephant has been classified as endangered by the IUCN.
- Asian elephants can live anywhere between 55 to 70 years.
- The Asian elephant follows strict migration routes that are determined by the monsoon season. Migration usually takes place between the wet and dry seasons. The eldest elephant of the herd is responsible for remembering the migration route.