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The African Elephant (Loxodonta africana): Mini-Review of an Endangered Species

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Document pages: 34 pages

Abstract: Humankind is responsible for conditioning thedistribution of species, including the African elephant. From its greatphysical form to its fascinating social behaviour, Loxodonta africana can trigger an admiration in some and be undervalued by others, often ending upbeing a victim of human activities. Increasingly, the apparent impossibility ofthe coexistence of these two species represents a problem for the conservationof the large African mammal. Here it was reviewed the published bibliographyabout the African savannah elephant (L. africana), between July 2015 andDecember 2019. The Web of Science (WoS)database enabled the search for the words “Loxodonta africana”.From this research, we obtained 310 articles, 149 of them were analysed. Elephants have characteristics that defineits uniqueness that are constantly reported, such as: its cognition andextraordinary memory, factors that influence its movements and itsdistribution, its specific vocalization and the strong dependence on socialconnections. Threats to the conservation of the species and the urgency ofinterventions are also an important subject of discussion. Poaching for ivoryrepresents a major obstacle on conservation and has been drastically reducingthe number of elephant populations and causingfuture consequences for those who thrive. Law enforcement in reducing prohibitpoaching has proven to be insufficient, so there is an urgent need to combatthe demand for ivory. Also, it is necessary to bypass the conflict, promotetolerance and enable cohabitation. We believe that educating human populationsto better understand the species may be the difference to guarantee a future for the species. Conservationists maybe the enablers of these educational actions, however, to make thedifference, it is necessary to know the species in detail. Mastering knowledgein these behavioural areas will contribute to improve mitigation strategies,which could make the difference to guarantee a future for the species.

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