Obliterating the Elephant How MANY Elephants can you count?
Every 15 minutes an elephant is killed for ivory. African elephants once numbered in the millions across Africa, but by the mid-1980s their populations had been devastated by poaching. The status of the species now varies greatly across the continent. Some populations remain in danger due to poaching for meat and ivory, habitat loss, and conflict with humans.
Black and Blue Elephant – Oblivion
Elephants are so important because their future is tied to much of Africa’s rich biodiversity. Scientists consider African elephants to be keystone species as they help to maintain suitable habitats for many other species in savanna and forest ecosystems.
Elephants directly influence forest composition and density, and can alter the broader landscape. In tropical forests, elephants create clearings and gaps in the canopy that encourage tree regeneration. In the savannahs, they can reduce bush cover to create an environment favourable to a mix of browsing and grazing animals.
Many plant species also have evolved seeds that are dependent on passing through an elephant’s digestive tract before they can germinate; it is calculated that at least a third of tree species in west African forests rely on elephants in this way for distribution of their future generation
Keystone species are those species whose importance to an ecosystem’s structure, composition, and function is disproportionately large relative to their abundance. These species can be of any life form, but they have in common an effect on their environment that is always greater than what can be expected based on their biomass. Well-studied examples include sea stars, beavers, bears, corals, hummingbirds and elephants.
Whatever works we have wrought upon it, nature inevitably finds a way… Ironically, in this painting a combination of industrial paints and sprays were used to create the effect of moss as it reclaims the damage we have done.