Population trend: Decreasing
"Asian elephants formerly ranged from West Asia along the Iranian coast into the Indian subcontinent, eastwards into South-east Asia including Sumatra, Java, and Borneo, and into China at least as far as the Yangtze-Kiang. This former range covered over 9 million km² (Sukumar 2003). Asian elephants are now extinct in West Asia, Java, and most of China The western populations (Elephas maximus asurus) were probably extinct by 100 BC, and the main Chinese populations (sometimes referred to as E. m. rubridens) disappeared sometime after the 14th century BC. Even within its surviving range in South and South-east Asia, the species has been in retreat for hundreds if not thousands of years, and generally survives only in highly fragmented populations. The pre-eminent threats to the Asian elephant today are habitat loss, degradation, and fragmentation, which are driven by an expanding human population, and lead in turn to increasing conflicts between humans and elephants when elephants eat or trample crops. Hundreds of people and elephants are killed annually as a result of such conflicts. The long-term future of elephants outside protected areas, as well as in some protected areas, is therefore inextricably linked to mitigating such human–elephant conflicts, and this is one of the largest conservation challenges in Asia today."
Source: IUCN Redlist
I decided to dedicate this years inktober to endangered, enslaved or extinct animal species. In November I'll sell some of the originals to raise money for local animal shelters. ❤