What is Quantum Entanglement: Explained in Simple Words. But there are many studies showing that we need to up our game when it comes to elephant conservation. She studies wild Asian elephants (their behavior and genetics, interactions with humans) for a living, and thinks it’s the coolest job in the world. In summary, the above will show you some answers to the question of why the elephants are important. Anyone who wonders, “Why are elephants important?” will likely eventually discover that they are what is referred to as a keystone species. The dung also acts as a fertilizer and provides numerous nutrients that promote germination and growth. Given that elephants defecate over 15 times per day, their dung creates ample food for those species who rely on it. These swarms then act as a food source for birds who feed on the insects. Butterflies congregating around elephant dung (Photo Credit : Joris Wiersinga/Shutterstock). Kangaroos are important for the ecosystem they evolve in, and are, therefore important. Tamanna holds a Master’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Sciences and has been working in the field of wildlife conservation for over six years now. In fact, some studies have suggested that elephants can disperse seeds over distances of more than 50 kilometres.Â. The submerged beetle larvae that fed off of the dung are a source of food for a number of different animals – like field mice and honey badgers. Â, This means that by supporting the survival of beetle populations, elephant dung also supports the survival of a wide variety of life on land.Â, Elephants also bring down branches that may have been too high up for smaller animals to reach. Elephant dung is the perfect fertiliser since it’s rich in nutrients that allow seeds to germinate and grow. It is a species which plays an important role in maintaining and balancing the structure of an ecological community and affecting many other organisms within this community. An elephant bends down to obtain his sodium content for the day! 1 2. Why should you save elephants? At the same time, around 8% of the elephant population is lost each year, so the prospect of these keystone species becoming extinct isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem.Â, Take a look at just four ways that elephants have a huge positive impact on the environments they live in, and how they contribute to wildlife conservation just by doing what elephants do best.Â, The African elephant is the largest herbivore in the world, and even though the Asian elephant is smaller in stature, it’s still considered one of the herbivorous heavyweights of the animal kingdom. Elephants, who have a good sense of smell, use their trunks to detect areas in the ground that have large quantities of minerals. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Asian elephant populations have decreased by at least 50% since the early 1900s.Â. She spends most of her free time soaking her feet in the cold waters of the Bay of Bengal. As a result, innumerable insects swarm near freshly deposited dung. Can We Harness Electricity From Lightning? We have animals as massive as elephants and rhinos, tiny insects like ants and spiders, as well as plants of every imaginable hue and size. This website uses cookies for an improved user experience. When organic matter dies, decomposers break it down, releasing carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. What are Keystone Species? The clearance of some thorny bushes also allows more light to reach the ground, which promotes the growth of new plant species and reduces competition. They are key-stone species, terrestrial-ecosystem architects, and gardeners without parallel. Where can I volunteer in India to make an impact in sustainable development? Also, the footprints of elephants provide predator-free breeding grounds for frogs and act as connecting sinks for frog populations to connect. How Big Is It and Does It Bite? This article will teach you a bit more about one of the most beloved species on our planet and the phenomenal roles they play. Elephants contribute to the health of the environment in many different ways, and elephant conservation efforts are important in ensuring that they’re always around to do what they do best – be elephants!. Elephants, of course! Why are elephants keystone species? Why are Elephants Important? So it’s no surprise that these guys eat a good amount of plant material every day.Â, After munching on vegetation – that also consists of seeds – elephants transport plant material around in their guts, and then drop them off in mounds of dung. They will then use their tusks to dig into the soil and then bend down to eat it. What are Glial Cells: Definition, Types, Functions of Glial Cells | Role in Psychology, Elephants are also among the most intelligent species on Earth. These elephant-made watering holes are then available for other animals to drink from. What species are we talking about? So wildlife conservation programs that focus on elephant conservation aren’t only looking out for the elephants, but for all the plants and animals that depend on them too.Â, Find out more about GVI’s international elephant conservation programs in Africa and Asia and get involved in making a positive impact in wildlife conservation.Â, 1 Emperor Way, Exeter Business Park What Is The Fibonacci Sequence? In this way, plant material can be dropped off thousands of metres away from where the plants were initially eaten. This creates a clearance in densely vegetated areas, enabling smaller animals to move more freely. Elephants also modify savannah habitats by pulling down trees and breaking up thorny bushes. Why Are There Stones Alongside Railway Tracks? In some continents, particularly across Africa, elephants were given respect as the people share the habitat with them; hence representing cultural importance. And elephant seed dispersal provides opportunities for plants to colonise new areas, which eventually creates new habitats and food for a range of different animals. Scientists have noticed that African elephants get cancer much less often than humans. Elephants are a keystone species. Underwater, gigantic beings like killer whales and dugongs wander alongside smaller creatures like sea horses and clownfish. Elephants play a crucial role in our environment. Researchers have also observed butterflies visiting fresh dung, as it keeps them warm. Just as they provide food, elephants also provide shelter for smaller creatures, especially amphibians and insects. Minerals are essential for the growth and development of most creatures, including elephants. Many elephants are also the victims of retaliatory attacks after they venture into human settlement and farm areas. Why is the Ecosystem Important? Most people do not know about the African elephants’ important role as a “horticulturist” in the African ecosystems. They will then use their tusks to dig into the soil and then bend down to eat it. Our planet is a truly remarkable place. Similarly, elephants pull down and uproot thorny bushes, which further helps in clearing safe pathways for smaller animals. What impact do the elephants have on their habitat and neighboring human communities?The answers to these questions hold a key to the African elephant's long-term survival--and researcher Charles Foley hopes to find them. This assists in keeping the savannah an open plain, interspersed with trees and bushes – instead of overrun by them – and supports the type of species that like to live in the savannah biome.Â. It can also be defined as the chain of communication or interaction between the living organisms and their environment. There are two major species of elephants, African and Asian. Despite its venerated status, the Asian elephant has never been safe from mistreatment by humans. During these times of intense drought, elephants use their trunks to sniff out areas where water may be found underground. An elephant footprint can also enable a micro-ecosystem that, when filled with water, can provide a home for tadpoles and other organisms. That means they create and maintain their own ecosystems. They use their feet, trunks and tusks to create holes deep enough to tap into underground water sources. Coefficient Of Restitution: Definition, Explanation And Formula. And it’s not only African elephants that are facing challenges. Diving Bell Spider: Anatomy, Habitat, Bite And Other Facts, Sheepshead Fish: Facts About The Fish With Human Teeth. The loss of elephants from one particular site would mean that all the biological interactions and ecosystem processes in which they are involved, would also be lost. We, humans, are actually part of the ecosystems itself that should be living in harmony with other organisms. This creates a clearance in densely vegetated areas, enabling smaller animals to move more freely. Exeter, Devon, EX1 3QS, UK Other larger external factors determine an ecosystem’s climate, time, topography, and material at the earth’s surface — these fact… Well, if you haven’t asked yourself that question before, don’t worry. However, […] The elephants can be an aid to the scientists to develop novel drugs to fight against cancer or prevent this disease from forming. (L) African elephant (Loxodonta Africana) and (R) (Elephas maximus) (Photo Credit : Volodymyr Burdiak & Nuttaya Maneekhot/Shutterstock). They play an important role in the ecosystem in which they live and they are also big tourism animals that help raise funds for different wildlife reserves. According to an organization called Save the Elephants, elephants are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet. Elephants eat these seeds and then plant them on their wanders via their dung. An estimated 35,000 are killed every year for their tusks; the natural growth rate in most elephant populations has yet to overtake the rate of killings. Elephants are not only clearing the way for smaller animals, but also creating more opportunities for plants to flourish! Energy enters an ecosystem from the sun, which plants utilize, as well as carbon dioxide, which is used for photosynthesis. Elephant numbers are in decline because these animals are poached for their ivory, come into conflict with humans and are experiencing ongoing habitat loss and degradation. Why Do Bats Hang Upside Down While They Sleep? Without elephants, the ecosystem would not be able to function properly; this could impact the ecosystem so seriously that it all falls apart. Dung beetles thriving in elephant dung (Photo Credit : Emile E Wendling/Shutterstock). These broad-eared creatures also play a crucial role in several religions, cultures and traditions across the world, and several communities worship them. As a result, innumerable insects swarm near freshly deposited dung. Elephants dig wells to access water underground. As elephants move from one area to another, they help plants colonize and grow in newer regions, thus creating additional, As you know, elephants are a solid, well-built species, which means that they are capable of trampling quite a few plants while walking from one area to another. As you know, elephants are herbivores, meaning that they consume many plants, along with their seeds! However, have you ever wondered… what role do individual species play in our ecosystem? These seeds, in turn, grow into new plants, grasses and bushes. These seeds, in turn, grow into new plants, grasses and bushes. Elephants are called nature’s gardeners due to how they change landscapes by digging waterholes, creating footpaths, opening up habitats and dispersing seeds in their dung. This helps in the pruning of trees, which facilitates their growth. Elephants are also important because people can study them to find cures for human illnesses. Learn More. In the animal kingdom , elephants are considered to be one of the smartest living organisms with whom humans share the planet with. As you can see, elephants play a very important role in their respective ecosystems. These fallen tree parts become food for large herbivores like gaur (bos gaurus) and sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), who also share ecosystem space with elephants. As well as being home to the largest single population of Asian elephants in the world, the Nilgiris is also one of the most important tiger habitats in the country. What Is The Huntsman Spider? Ecosystem Engineers: Elephant Eating Habits Influence Lizard Habitat Choices Date: January 31, 2008 Source: Ecological Society of America Summary: An examination of … This website uses cookies for an improved user experience. An ecosystem can be defined as the biological community of living beings, communicating with the physical environment and other nonliving components. Bite and other Facts, Sheepshead Fish: Facts about the Fish with human Teeth interact together and gardeners parallel. To 800 remain in the pruning of trees, which is used for photosynthesis Bite... Have you ever wondered… what role do individual species play in our ecosystem and are known! Species who rely on it have inspired respect from the soil and then bend down to it! 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