The elephant is the largest existing land mammal on Earth, weighing anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 pounds. There are three species of elephants: the African bush elephant (also known as the African savanna elephant), the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant.
In 1930, approximately 10 million wild elephants were in Africa, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Since then, elephant populations have dwindled due to various threats, including habitat loss and illegal poaching.
Today, these declines continue. Here's what to know about elephants to protect their populations.
How many elephants are left in the world?
As previously stated, the ivory trade, habitat loss, poaching and elephant-human conflict pose threats to elephant populations.
Since 1979, the habitat of African elephants has been reduced by over 50%, while Asian elephants only have about 15% of their original range. Habitat loss is due to human expansion, infrastructure and agriculture development on elephants' regions.
Additionally, illegal poaching for the ivory trade has dramatically impacted elephant populations. In 1989, the international commercial trade of elephant ivory was banned. Even though poaching did decrease following this, it started back up around 2010.
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Where do elephants live?
African bush elephants can be found in all of sub-Saharan Africa except for central Africa’s dense tropical forests, according to the WWF. The dense tropical forests are home to the African forest elephant.
African bush elephants live in 23 countries with the majority located in southern and eastern African countries, such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa.
As for the African forest elephant, its largest populations are in Gabon and the Republic of Congo, while smaller populations remain in other countries, such as Cameroon, Liberia and Ghana.
The Asian elephant's primary habitats are dry to wet forests and grasslands. They can be found in 13 countries in south and southeast Asia.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How many elephants are left in the world? View population numbers