Sumatran elephants contribute to a healthy forest eco-system because their highly varied diet and their droppings mean all kinds of seeds are spread far and wide. The population is less than 3,000.
Since 2012 the Sumatran elephant is a “Critically Endangered” species because half of its population has been lost in one generation—a decline that is largely due to habitat loss and as a result of human-elephant conflict. Sumatra has experienced one of the highest rates of deforestation, which has resulted in local extinctions of elephants in many areas.
Sumatran elephants typically have smaller tusks but they are enough to tempt poachers who kill the animals and sell their tusks on the illegal ivory market. Only male Asian elephants have tusks so every poaching event further skews the sex ratio further constraining breeding rates for the species.
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