Elephants have been revered for centuries in Asia, playing an important role in the continent's culture and religion. The Asian elephant also plays a crucial role in the ecosystem because they maintain forest clearing and distribute the seeds of trees and shrubs. Many other species depend on elephant-maintained ecosystems for their own survival. Sadly, the Asian elephant population has declined 50% over three generations and now endangered. Some reasons for the rapid decline are:
- Rapid human population growth
- Shrinking and fragmented elephant habitat
- Major reductions in elephant “exclusive zones” and “buffer zones”
- Small populations, inbreeding and disease
- Increased human-elephant conflicts, including poaching
- An extraordinary increase in railway accidents, resulting from an increase in the range, size, and speed of railways through elephant habitats.
7 Ways YOU Can Help Save Asian Elephants from Extinction:
1. Do not buy, wear, or sell ivory products
Elephants are killed for their tusks; the tusks are not collected from a live elephant that grows new ones.
2. Buy elephant-friendly coffee and wood
Coffee and timber crops are often grown in plantations that destroy elephant habitats. Make sure to buy Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified timber and certified fair trade coffee.
3. Do not buy palm oil
The palm oil industry is linked to major issues such as deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change and animal cruelty. This large-scale deforestation is pushing many species to extinction.
4. Purchase Ellie Pooh products
Ellie Pooh is a unique collection of fair trade stationary products from elephant dung! The products raise the tolerance of farmers toward elephants, by compensating them for damage to their crops and by creating jobs. Learn more here.
5. While visiting areas in southeast Asia DO NOT
Ride on elephants, visit trekking camps, purchase pictures “painted” by elephants, tip / donate money to elephant tenders or elephant mahouts.
6. Donate to these organizations
[click on organization to learn more]