Both African elephant species are now endangered, one critically
For the first time, a major conservation body has recognized the savanna elephant and forest elephant as two separate species—and they’re in dire straits.
Elephants have long been thought of as either African or Asian. But there are actually two species of African elephant: The savanna elephant is larger, has curving tusks, and roams the open plains of sub-Saharan Africa. The smaller, darker forest elephant, with straight tusks, lives in the equatorial forests of Central and West Africa.
Now, for the first time, scientists have separately evaluated how the two are faring—and the findings are grim.
“For both species, poaching is still the biggest driver of decline,” says Kathleen Gobush, leader of the new assessments and a member of the IUCN’s Elephant Specialist Group, a group of technical experts focusing on conservation and management of elephants.
“These assessments hopefully will garner renewed attention