Addressing critical threats facing Asian elephants | Stories

WWF’s Asian Elephant Alliance (AEA) aims to reverse population decline, protect and restore habitat, and move towards sustainable coexistence between elephants and people.

1. What is the current status of wild Asian elephants?

There are fewer than 50,000 Asian elephants in the wild, living in 13 countries across South and Southeast Asia and southern China. The majority of the world’s population is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The rest – about 16%-20% – live in Southeast Asia and China. Unfortunately, elephants in Southeast Asia and China face serious threats to their survival, with only 8,000 to 11,000 left in eight countries: Cambodia, China, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

2. Why are Asian elephants in Southeast Asia and China of particular conservation concern?

In Southeast Asia and China, Asian elephants are facing increasing habitat loss and fragmentation, human-elephant conflict, poaching, and increasingly isolated small populations. Elephants are at high risk of localized extinction due to population isolation, conflict, disease, and overbreeding. Some national populations in Southeast Asia and China are estimated to be in the hundreds. Now more than ever, we must step up our efforts to halt population decline and extinction of local elephants and create an environment for sustainable coexistence with humans.

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