Long considered to be a subspecies of the african elephant, the africa forest elephant is now considered by many scientists to be its own species—separate from the african savanna, or bush, elephant.
it is smaller than the better-known savanna elephant, has tusks that are straight and point downward, unlike the savanna elephants curved tusks, and has rounded ears while the savanna elephant’s ears are more pointed. #awffacts#elephants#forestelephants
Did you know?
that female forest elephants are slower breeders than savanna elephants?
in their 2016 paper, scientists andrea turkalo and ste chairman of the scientific board prof. george wittemyer, found that female forest elephants (pictured) start breeding at the age of 23 years unlike savanna elephants which start breeding at the age of 12. they also found that forest elephants produced a calf every 5 to 6 years whereas savanna elephants gave birth every 3 to 4 years.
📷 frank af petersens
Did you know?
that the tusks of savanna elephants and forest elephants are different in colour?
savanna elephants have tusks that are off white, the colour popularly known as “ivory", whereas the tusks of forest elephants are of a yellowish brown colour with some people even describing them as pinkish in colour . we suspect this difference could be based on the different kinds of food that savanna and forest elephants eat.
📷 frank af petersens
This is a bull photographed by ana, our research assistant in dzanga, on her first day of data collection: “i can feel myself understanding the elephants a bit more. i felt so excited just a few days ago when i realized i was able to recognize family groups and track a bunch at the same time. and i will never tire of listening to them! hearing their rumbles and roars in person has made me feel so blessed.”
Elp is back at dzanga! ana, our research assistant, has taken advantage of some brief internet access in bayanga to share some stories and photos with us—stay tuned this week to hear about how things are going at dzanga bai! for now, we’ll share her initial reaction at seeing the bai: “it is the most magical place i have ever been, and likely will ever go.”
F o r e s t • e l e p h a n t s 🐘
i really enjoy aerial photography, even if it can be difficult to know whether the photos worked out or not until it’s too late - there’s just not much time to review them in the air. but it’s a great way to gain perspective, and of course in places where the terrain is thick it’s often difficult to find wildlife from the ground. odzala-kokoua national park in the republic of the congo (the former french colony) - another park managed by @africanparksnetwork - is one such place, and getting a chance to photograph it from the air was wonderful. the most exciting aspect was definitely the chance to see (and photograph) some of the park’s many forest elephants. smaller than both their savannah and asian cousins, forest elephants are nevertheless the among the world’s largest terrestrial animals, and having encountered them on foot i can tell you they don’t seem much smaller than other elephants. 😳 there are perhaps 100,000 left in central africa, but their population is in sharp decline, and as they reproduce slower than savannah elephants they are also more vulnerable and take longer to recover from such declines. 🐘
Help us to write a happier chapter for forest elephants in nigeria. unbeknown to many people, forest elephants still inhabit the remaining forests of nigeria.
not only do they fall victim to the asian ivory market but also to conflict with humans in competition for the same space and resources required for their mutual existence. clearing land for agriculture, logging and poaching are some of the activities that the local communities resort to in order to survive. sadly, the forest elephants more often than not end up losing this battle. human-elephant conflict mitigation is a necessary conservation measure alongside anti-poaching.
around 40 forest elephants (minus one) now remain in omo, shaha and oluwa forest reserves in nigeria and it is feared they could be extinct in five years if the problems of logging and poaching in their natural habitat continues.
thankfully the omo-shasha-oluwa forest elephant initiative is working on the ground which seeks to establish a large contiguous area of forest across three states as a wildlife sanctuary. this initiative is committed to protecting the already diminished population in the hope that they will survive our transition to a more mindful relationship with the natural world. ---------------------------------------
African forest elephants in clearings in the rainforest known as bais. researchers from the elephant listening project study these elephants and develop a elephant sounds dictionary by match sounds with particular behavior and interactions.
this is a #repost from @elephantlisteningproject via @photoaroundapp
perhaps one of the most unique aspects of forest elephant ecology is their attraction to clearings in the forest where they seek out minerals and social interactions. clearings, called 'bais' by central africans, are highly diverse in terms of their physical character and in the mineral resources available from them. dzanga bai in central african republic has been a key field site for elp’s research and models initially derived from this spot have been tested and applied elsewhere. #elephants#bai#forestelephants#africanelephant#africanforestelephant#rainforestanimals
Elp is monitoring forest elephant activity at a diversity of bais, where elephants come together to seek minerals and social interactions! they only spend about 5% of their time there, but dzanga bai regularly hosts up to 100 elephants at the same time!
Many scientists have pointed to the rock hyrax as the elephant's closest relative, but what characteristics can this small furry mammal possibly share with the trunked grey giants? click the link in our bio to keep reading !
Did you know that forest elephants have the lowest reproductive rate of the three elephant species ? 🌳🐘🤱😮 the median age at first birth is 23 years (11-14 years in savannah elephant), and median inter-birth interval is 5.5 years (3.4 – 5.5 years in savannah)!
Forest elephants love to mud bathe. 🛁🐘 rolling in mud and splashing it on their bodies allows them to cool off and deter insects. when the mud dries it provides a protective coat over their skin. along with drinking mineral waters and socializing with other elephants, mud-bathing is another reason elephants come to, and maintain the forest clearings, known as “bais”. the bais provide important habitat for many other species such as bongos, red river hogs 🐗, and gorillas 🦍