Known as the giants of the jungle, elephants are vital to the ecosystem and biodiversity.
According to those in the know, it is believed that, in the absence of conservation efforts, these pachyderms may become extinct in the next few years. There are several reasons for this to happen.
One of the biggest problems, which could be perfectly avoided, is illegal hunting. Most elephants are illegally killed just for their ivory tusks, which are sold for an incredible amount of money, making this activity very profitable. "About 20,000 African elephants are killed each year for their ivory," said Marsden Momanyi, manager of wildlife practices for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
The expert also noted that in the last century about 90 percent of African elephants were wiped out, many of them due to the ivory trade.
According to current data, on average, 55 elephants are killed every day, due to the greed of products made with ivory. Estimates show that the illicit wildlife trade became the fourth largest international organized crime, worth more than $ 18 billion each year.
However, news reports indicate that China, the largest end market for elephant ivory, banned domestic trade in 2017. And now Singapore has announced that it will ban domestic ivory trade from September 2021.
Asian elephants are also persecuted for trading their skins for medicinal powders and pills and jewelry. This market has proliferated since 2018, first in Myanmar, but has spread to China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Another major problem that contributes to the extinction of the jungle giants is that their natural habitat is disappearing, they are no longer able to find the amount of food they need to survive each day, and as a result, many of them die of hunger, the struggle to survive is uneven in this regard. Even when they are able to travel for long periods of time in search of food, without it for a long time they will weaken and will not be able to do so anymore.
The WWF expert explained the importance of these mammals, the largest in the world that are vital to the ecosystem and biodiversity. "They help maintain forest and savanna ecosystems for other species and are an integral part of biodiversity," explained Marsden Momanyi while celebrating World Elephant Day, this past August 12.
Likewise, the WWF expert explained that “elephants clean and create gaps in the canopy that encourages the regeneration of trees. In the savannas, they reduce shrub cover to create an environment favorable to a number of grazing animals. "
Momanyi explained that WWF works in Asia and Africa to conserve elephants through specific programs, improve their protection and management capacity. The program includes ways to mitigate the human-elephant conflict and reduce poaching and the illegal ivory trade. "They train wildlife managers and local communities, using modern methods to increase public awareness and support," the official stated.
Since it is due to humans, that elephants are in constant danger, it is we who have a duty to restore their numbers and not allow their extinction. Everyone who wants to participate, can search the internet and learn more about conservation efforts, groups and find how to contribute to the cause.
Sources: telesurtv.net trt.net.tr elephantpedia.com