By: FAYLYNN VIDRIO
The Sumatran Elephant was titled “Critically Endangered” around 2012, meaning they were in extreme danger of being lost forever. Sumatran elephants contribute to a healthy ecosystem by eating different types of plants while also depositing seeds wherever they go. Losing them would be a devastating event to take place, so we as humans are doing our best to save these struggling animals.
The main reason for losing the Sumatran elephants is due to habitat loss. Sadly, they have been faced with half of their population being lost in only one generation. With over 70 percent of the Sumatran’s natural lowland forest destroyed, they have become victims to one of Asia’s highest rates of deforestation.
Sumatran elephants may have smaller tusks than other breeds of elephants, but that doesn’t stop illegal poaching from happening. Only male Asian elephants actually possess tusks, making them a larger target. This leads to regular breeding becoming more unavailable to the species. According to the IUCN Red List, “Although as a species Sumatran elephants are protected under Indonesia law, 85 percent of their habitats which are located outside of protected areas, are outside of the protection system and likely to be converted to agricultural and other purposes.” These animals have little space even where they are actually protected.
However, there are people who are willing to help. Currently, there are teams fighting for the Sumatran elephants by demanding more laws to be placed for the protection of the species. By doing research on what types of forest this species works best in, we are able to focus on protecting those specific areas. The government of Indonesia, palm oil companies, and members of the paper industry must work together to rebuild the Sumatran habitat. This is a very serious matter that needs extra attention and protection.
There are many ways to help repair this dying species yourself, which could be from donating money to simply sharing the word. With there being only 2,400-2,800 Sumatran elephants left in the world, there isn’t much time left to save them, however, with help and commitment there may be a chance to rescue these incredible creatures