Elephas maximus (Asian elephant)

Elephas maximus, the asian elephant are under threat due to

  • the destruction of their habitat
  • poachers hunting elephant for their ivory tusks

Current estimates indicate that there are only 30,000 to 40,000 Asian elephants left in the wild – a tenth the number of the African species - with a further 15,000 or so held in captivity.

Species detail

Asian species only the males have ivory. This has led to a situation in some parts of Asia where the natural female-to-male ratio of 2:1 has risen to anything from 5:1 in the best-protected areas, to 100:1.

  • Elephas maximus
    Significance to humans

    Learn about the long history of interaction that elephants have with people and the role they have played in various cultures dating back to the third millennium BC.

  • Elephas maximus
    Evolution and systematics

    Trace the history of the elephant back more than 70 million years and discover differences between the three recognised subspecies of Elephas maximus.

  • Elephas maximus
    Physical characteristics

    Only male Elephas maximus possess tusks, however the females frequently possess tiny tusks called ‘tushes’. Find out more about the physical characteristics of the Asian elephant.

  • Distribution map of Asian elephant
    Distribution

    Discover the countries in which the Asian elephant lives and learn which country has around half of the world's population of the species.

  • Elephas maximus mother and calf
    Reproduction

    Find out about the reproductive biology of the Asian elephant, including birthrates, mating patterns and the process of giving birth.

  • Elephas maximus
    Behaviour

    Get detailed information regarding the behaviour of elephants.

  • Elephas maximus
    Threats and conservation

    Discover the two main threats to the ongoing survival of the Asian elephant and what action is required to overcome these. Find out how elephants are causing conflict with humans in some areas.

  • Elephas maximus
    References

    Get reference material for Elephas maximus.

Images

Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister
Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister
Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister
Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister
Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister
Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister
Elephas maximus

Elephas maximus

© A Lister