Elephants at Risk
Elephants, largest of all land animals, are among the most recognizable and beloved creatures on Earth. Their ancestors once roamed most of the planet, but wild populations are now confined to decreasing swaths of land in Africa and Asia. Hunted mercilessly for their prized ivory tusks, they are under threat in most of their range from poaching, habitat loss, and human encroachment and are listed as threatened by the IUCN.
National Geographic has been promoting elephant research and conservation since 1922. You can make an impact by offering your support to the National Geographic Society. You can also contact your local government representative and your country's CITES representative to express your support of the international ban on the trade of ivory. People in the United States can get in touch with their congressional representative and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In 1980, wildlife consultants Oria and Iain Douglas-Hamilton documented the havoc wreaked by ivory hunters and human population pressure.
Get fun facts on African elephants, plus video, audio, photos, and more at National Geographic's Kids site.
A refuge in Chad gives endangered central African elephants armed protection—and a fighting chance.
Learn how the ears have it when identifying elephant species. Find out what makes these mammoth mammals tick.
Get a load of the world's largest land mammal. Find out how the African elephant's impressive tusks help it survive, but have also been its downfall.