Numbers of Asian elephants were decimated by habitat loss and hunting throughout their historical range. Vast tracts of land have been logged or simply cleared to accommodate the growing human population in the region (2). Elephant populations have become increasingly isolated in the fragmented habitat that remains, often coming into conflict with local farmers (6). Crops are damaged and lives lost; up to 300 people a year are killed by elephants in India (3), leading to retaliation on local elephants (7). Poaching for ivory is also a threat and because only males have tusks, populations can become extremely skewed towards females, thus affecting breeding rates (2).
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