Elephants play an important role in maintaining biodiversity. They can be best described as the “Architects of the savannah”and natures constant gardeners, moving great distances foraging which open up dense bush land creating grasslands for grazers. Their knocking over of trees creates microhabitats for smaller creatures like reptiles and insects, which in turn provides food for birds. Defecating up to 17 piles of poo per day provides food for beetles, other insects and birds, as well as providing potting soil for the many seeds that have passed through their system to germinate. Indeed, a myriad of forest species are totally dependent on elephants for their survival.
Where elephants go, other species follow. Lose the elephants and we will lose so much more. As human settlement expands, we must set aside corridors between protected habitats to ensure the continued movement of elephants and other wildlife. Elephants will do much of the biodiversity work for us if we allow them to. But we must stop the slaughter of elephants, and provide the space and protect their habitats for them to get on with their good work.