The Asian elephant Elephas maximus , also known as the Asiatic elephant , is the only living species of the genus Elephas and is distributed throughout the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia , from India in the west, Nepal in the north, Sumatra in the south, and to Borneo in the east. Three subspecies are recognised— E. The Asian elephant is the largest living land animal in Asia. It is primarily threatened by loss of habitat , habitat degradation , fragmentation and poaching. In zoos, Asian elephants die at a much younger age; captive populations are declining due to a low birth and high death rate. The genus Elephas originated in Sub-Saharan Africa during the Pliocene and spread throughout Africa before expanding into the southern half of Asia.
The greatest threats to Asian elephants are habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation; illegal killing e. A world where people and ecologically functioning populations of wild Asian Elephants can co-exist and thrive across the elephants' range. WCS works with its government partners across Asia to improve law enforcement at key sites, in part through the roll-out of the SMART approach to managing rangers and patrol-based data. We promote low-tech, community-based crop-guarding methods to reduce farmers' conflicts with elephants. In some areas, these have successfully repelled more than 90 percent of attempted elephant raids.
Karl Mathiesen explains why there has never been a more dangerous time to be an elephant. The largest of all land beasts, elephants are thundering, trumpeting six-tonne monuments to the wonder of evolution. From the tip of that distinctive trunk with its , dextrous muscles; to their outsize ears that flap the heat away; to the complex matriarchal societies and the mourning of their dead ; to the points of their ivory tusks, designed to defend, but ultimately the cause of their ruin. African and Asian elephants are more closely related to the woolly mammoth than to each other. The ears are said to be a geographical guide.