Elephant

Mammals of India By Dr. Anwaruddin Chodhury

Ranjit launches book 'Mammals of India' written by Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhury, IAS, on 9th June, 2016 in Guwahati Press Club. India has more than 400 species of mammals. It is the only country in the world to have the Tiger and the Lion. The presence of such a diverse mammalian species in a relatively small area of the globe is significant (c. 8.6% of the total mammalian species in 2.4% of the world’s land area).

A tusk-less future for the Asian Elephant

Picture the Asian elephant without its elegant tusks. Ecological scientists filming the pachyderms for months together at the Kaziranga National Park in the north-east Indian state of Assam say this picture might become a reality in a few thousand years from now. The reasons, they figure, are two-fold. One, tusks are merely ornamental, not of much use to the animal and thus dispensable. And two, poaching pressures are rendering more and more elephants toothless.

Elephant Gardeners

Just as Elephants need their forest, the forest needs them. Dr Blake, researcher with the Mac Planck Institute for Ornithology, describes the elephants as "mega-gardeners". The researcher and his colleagues spent several months camping in the dense forests tracking the elephants. He has found that, during their lumbering treks, forest elephants can vacuum up hundreds of pieces of fruit from under a single tree. 

How long will the Elephants Survive?

How, amidst NATO's missile-defense problems in Europe, the refugee situation in the middle East & Europe, a possible nuclear Iran and the economic failings of modern nations, unemployment and inflation, can the future of the elephant be so urgent?

It is not on the radar of the media nor is it a priority for most people. The answer comes from our ability to affirm life in its moral, ethical and in its spiritual dimensions.

MARK ROLAND SHAND

This handsome, driven, wildlife hero spent his entire life in defence of the wild creatures he loved. Brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, he was also Chairman of Elephant Family, a wildlife trust he co-founded along with Lord Robin Russell, Nicholas Claxton, Caroline Casey and Dugal Muller. 

UNREAL
Writing about Mark like he was never going to walk through the door again is downright unreal. To a person, anyone who truly knew him would agree: “Mark was a pure heart.” He had a family in virtually every heart he touched. He was part of Sanctuary’s soul. 

Threats to Domestic Elephants

For thousands of years the elephant was part of the fabric of daily life in Asia. They served primarily to transport goods and people. When the 20th century began, elephants were put to use by the timber industry, destroying their own habitat in the process.

 Except in less-developed Myanmar, the need for elephant labor has steadily declined since World War II, and so has the domesticated Asian elephant population.

Mortality of Asian Elephants

When a potential predator such as a lion or tiger threatens a calf, the adults form a defensive circle with the calf in the middle. Adult elephants are probably not susceptible to predation by any species other than humans.

 

Mortality of Asian Elephants

Mitigation Steps for Solving Plight of Asian Elephants

Although well protected from international trade, Asian elephants have little protection under domestic laws. Generally, national wildlife agencies in Asia consider the domesticated elephant to be just another domestic animal (and allow their tusks to be sold), while livestock departments consider it wild and not under their jurisdiction. 

"So it's in a very curious, halfway position that makes conservation very difficult," explains Lair. Caring for privately owned domesticated Asian elephants often turns out to be the job of an impoverished mahout—or nobody's job at all.

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