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Asian Elephant  ELEPHANT

Scientific Name:
Elephas maximus

Other Names and/or Listed subspecies:
Indian Elephant

Group: Mammals

Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: June 14, 1976

EN-IUCN: 2008

Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:
South-Central and Southeastern Asia

The Asian elephant is also known as the Indian elephant and its body and ears are smaller than the African elephant. Females weigh around 5000 lb and males weigh over 11,000 lb. Asians elephants have flat foreheads and have curved backs. Only some of the males have tusks, females never having them. When one set wears and falls out, another set moves forward for use and when the last set wears out, the elephant dies because it can no longer chew its food.

Asian elephants eat mostly plants. They also eat grass, twigs, bark and leaves. They can consume up to 330 lb of food a day. Because of its huge size and the amount of food it consumes, the Asian elephant needs large forest area for its habitat and a permanent water supply is needed for survival. Up to 18 hours a day are spent by the elephants foraging for food. Adult males live alone or sometimes together in small groups and never really have contact with females unless for mating and feeding. Females produce single calves after an 18 to 22 month gestation period. The calves remain and depend on their mothers for about three to four years.

There are from 34,000 to 54,000 Asian elephants left in the wild today. Asian elephants are found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Since the Asian elephant requires large forest area for its habitat, deforestation has become the main threat to its survival. Reduction of its habitat has caused its population to decline in pocketed patches of forests with agricultural land surrounding them.

More Links about the Asian Elephant:

Reference Links:
Asian Elephant - The Wild Ones - Animal Index

Conservation Links:
Asian Elephant Foundation

Asian Elephant Facts Last Updated: April 17, 2010

To Cite This Page:
Glenn, C. R. 2006. "Earth's Endangered Creatures - Asian Elephant Facts" (Online).
Accessed 3/25/2017 at


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