THREATS

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ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE

Even where suitable habitat exists, poaching remains a threat to elephants in many areas. In 1989, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) banned the international trade in ivory. However, there are still some thriving but unregulated domestic ivory markets in a number of countries which fuel an illegal international trade. Although most of this ivory comes from poaching of African elephants, Asian elephants are also illegally hunted for their ivory, as well as for their skin. In some countries, political unrest is disrupting antipoaching activities.

GENETIC THREAT

Conservationists are concerned that a loss of male big tuskers due to poaching could lead to inbreeding and eventually to high juvenile mortality and overall low breeding success. The loss of tuskers also reduces the probability that these longer-living lone males will mate and exchange genes with females of different sub-populations.

CAPTURE OF WILD ELEPHANTS

The capture of wild elephants for domestic use has become a threat to some wild populations, seriously reducing some numbers. India, Vietnam and Myanmar have banned capture in order to conserve their wild herds, but in Myanmar elephants are still caught each year for the timber and tourist industries or illegal wildlife trade. Crude capture methods often result in elephant deaths. Efforts are being made not only to improve safety, but also to encourage captive breeding rather than taking from the wild. With nearly 30 percent of the remaining Asian elephants in captivity, attention needs to be paid to improve care and targeted breeding programs.

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According to: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/asian-elephant

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