Asian Elephants

The greatest threats to Asian elephants are habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation; illegal killing (e.g. for their ivory and other products or in retaliation for human-elephant conflicts); and the loss of genetic viability resulting from small population size and isolation. As a result, Asian elephants now occur on only about 10% of their historical range and many of the remaining populations are both small and isolated.

Our Goal

A world where people and ecologically functioning populations of wild Asian Elephants can co-exist and thrive across the elephants' range.

Our strategies to get there include:

Why WCS?

9 countries

WCS works in 9 of the 13 Asian elephant range states.

40% of the population

40% of the total Asian elephant population is in WCS sites and landscapes.

Photo Credit: ©duangnapa_b/Shutterstock

On Our Strategies

Protect Elephants and Their Habitat

WCS works with its government partners across Asia to improve law enforcement at key sites, in part through the roll-out of the SMART approach to managing rangers and patrol-based data.

Reduce Human-Elephant Conflict

We promote low-tech, community-based crop-guarding methods to reduce farmers' conflicts with elephants. In some areas, these have successfully repelled more than 90 percent of attempted elephant raids.

Monitor Elephant Numbers, Population Trends, and Threats to Elephants and Their Habitat

We are conducting (or have conducted) the first-ever elephant population surveys to use robust peer-reviewed methods in Cambodia, Indonesia (Sumatra), the Lao PDR, Peninsular Malaysia, and Thailand. The information gathered helps set appropriate goals and help monitor the effectiveness of management interventions and policymakers' decisions. Plus, it helps in assessing the impact of things like habitat loss and degradation.

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