The African elephant has disappeared from about 50% of its historic range in the last 40 years, mainly due to ivory poaching and habitat degradation, according to @world_wildlife.
Elephants are incredibly smart and social creatures; they have a hierarchical family structure with the leading matriarch running the show and calling the shots. Family members rely on their elders to lead them in vast marches all across Africa, as the elders are the ones who remember were vital water sources and best grazing grounds are. This is why poaching for ivory is so detrimental to elephant populations—the oldest elephants also have the largest tusks and are primary targets. So poaching these individuals not only removes them from the population and orphans babies but also causes a ripple effect for the entire family, preventing the remaining members from being able to relocate necessary feeding/watering/breeding grounds.
Visit https://www.elephanttrust.org/ or checkout @amboseli_trust to learn more about the amazing research being done and what you can do to help out these gentle giants!
#elephant #africa #conservation