Elephants are LOSING THEIR Tusks
The Effects of Poaching
Since 2006 around 110,00 African elephants have been lost due to poaching and habitat destruction. Consistent poaching, targeting elephants with the finest ivory tusks has resulted in an alteration in the gene pool and a number of African Elephants now being born tuskless.
Although not having tusks could possibly save some elephants from the threat of poaching, it could alter how individuals and their communities behave. For example, they may need larger home regions if they are not able to access food as easily.
Elephants tusks are overgrown teeth; however, they are used by elephants for most daily activities including digging for water or minerals in the ground, debarking trees and helping males compete for females.
By toppling or roughing up trees, elephants also use their tusks to create habitats for other animals. A number of smaller animals also depend on the water elephants dig up using their tusks. Although tuskless elephants are finding away round this problem, many conservationists consider an elephant without tusks to be at a major disadvantage.
This account of the effects of poaching on the earth’s largest land mammals is just one example of the devastating impact humans are having on the earth’s wildlife.