Role of Elephants in Ecosystem

Elephants are important to Ecosystem but there are many threats associated with them and we should start taking measures to protect them.


As we are aware that all species play a vital role in our ecosystem same is the case with elephants. They are the most intelligent species with a very strong emotional consciousness. They are also the keystone to maintain the biodiversity of the ecosystem.

 It is belied the huge animal provides water for various other species, during the dry season they use their trunk to dig for water and this not only helps the elephants to survive in dry seasons but the water source is also used by other spices as well.

The animal is feared due to its huge size but this species has its own way to contribute towards the environment. Its major role is not mass destruction but their action eventually leads to some benefits as well. Likewise when they eat they create huge gaps in the vegetation which people might think is the destruction of plantation but these processes allow new plants to grow. These gaps also create pathway for small animals. They also help in seed dispersion helping other species to grow.

As the animal feed on fruits and vegetables, so where it leaves its dung that is full of seeds it helps in seed dispersion. Later the seeds are sown and grown into new grasses, bushes, and trees.

Owning an elephant?

This huge animal can also be used for business purposes like tourism etc. In some places, they are used for safaris. Some people use them to lift heavy logs. In India where people worship these animals, the elephant owners take a huge amount of money from worshipers just to touch the huge beast. Though the animal is really huge it is really cool-headed and it will not harm you until it senses danger around. In the southern part of India, they are the source of amusement as these animals are used for transportation. People who visit these parts enjoy animal safaris. Not only has this elephant also been an attraction of various circuses.

Role of Elephants in Ecosystem

 Impact of their existence

As already discussed earlier this animal has also been an essential element of our ecosystem. They have played a very vital role in the environment’s balance.  History has been quite evident of the fact that these animals have played a very vital role in construction work whether it was carrying the heavy logs and stones or changing the route of rivers. We have also learned that these animals have also been the part of wars in ancient history. This beast is also hunted for its ivory tusk which has led to decrease in population of this animal.

Savanna Elephants

They are known as largest subspaces of elephants and they are easy to distinguish as this beast has very large ears which radiate excessive heat and their front legs are comparatively larger than their hind legs. They are found in Africa. In Savanna, these species are further grouped in which there are 10 females and their cub the males associated with the group only during the mating timing. Sometimes in order to form a clam, the members of other group or herd mingle with other groups or herds. As the Savanna’s are grassland these animals are found gazing the grass but they also feed on wide variety of plants and fruits.  They feed more on grass during the rainy season than during the dry season. (T.R Mc Clanahan, 1996)

Threats for them

Though the animal is facing many threats the biggest threat is the human race. Due to the increasing population, most of the forest area or green lands are being converted into widely populated areas thus leading to deforestation and pollution which means encroaching their habitat and disturbing their lifestyle. There is a huge conflict between the humans and elephants as the human has encroached their grassland these beast move into the populated area or they sometimes enter the fields and destroy the crops due to which sometimes they get shot for raiding crops.

Sometimes these animals are hunted for their ivory tusk. Though the elephant tusk selling is prohibited it has a huge value in the black market and that is the most frequent hunting of these animals.

Not only this they are also hunted for their meat. It is quite evident that the threat is not just to this huge beast but human population is becoming a threat to every species. We are disturbing the balance of the ecosystem. (K.N. Ninan, 2007)

Conservation Acts

National park and Reserves

Though the national park and reserves are there to protect these wild animals the space is not enough and is too isolated for these wild beasts. These are the reason why these animals wander in the populated area and destroy the vegetative land.


African government has taken strong steps to protect the species due to rising significance of the tourist trade to their economies. Every year Kenya alone receives 50 million dollars from tourism alone. (Kasnoff, 1996)

Prohibition of Trade

The decline of the species has been a big concern and due to this, there was a complete ban on ivory in 1990. All trade of elephant species was prohibited, some countries have built up strong laws to stop poachers but still in some parts illegal trade is still done. (T.R Mc Clanahan, 1996)


The only threat to these wild species is the human population. We humans have grown so greedy that we are ready to scarify the entire species in order to fulfill our greed, unnecessary needs and demands. Though the elephants are huge they are very emotional and friendly animals. As they are already aware of their huge size they are very gentle towards their surroundings. Whenever we think of an elephant we image a huge animal that moves slowly and is cool and calm most of the time.

It is believed the elephants were tamed in the Indus valley around 4000BC. They play a very important role in both Hindu and Buddhist religion. In Hindus lord Ganesha has an elephant head, he is believed to remove all the obstructions from your life. In Buddhism lord has spoken a lot about the elephants in his teachings.


K.N. Ninan, S. (2007). The econony of biodiversity Conservation. earthscan in the UK and USA.

Kasnoff, C. (1996). Bagheera. .

T.R Mc Clanahan, T. Y. (1996). East African Ecosystem and their conservation. Oxford university press.

K.N. Ninan, S. (2007). The econony of biodiversity Conservation. earthscan in the UK and USA.

Kasnoff, C. (1996). Bagheera. .

T.R Mc Clanahan, T. Y. (1996). East African Ecosystem and their conservation. Oxford university press.

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