Name and discuss how elephants are threatened in Africa

Background
African elephants are one of the largest mammals that ever existed.  The elephants lay a critical role in balancing the ecosystem within which other animals survive. The elephant population in Africa thrives in the savanna grasslands. The elephants of the Savannah grasslands are unique and distinguished from other species with their large ears that are used to radiate excess heat of the savannah. Elephants are essential in reducing and increasing the plant population in the savanna. They trample down trees and at the same time disperse seeds through their dung as they move across the biome.
Other Biomes
Various biomes make up the ecosystem. One is the tundra biomes which are the coldest and driest ecosystems in the world. The temperatures in such biomes are always below freezing point, and few plant and animal species survive.  The rainforests are a biome that is characterized by a vast number of animal and plant species. Rainforests are either temperate or tropical forests.  Temperate rainforests are found along coasts. The rainforests help maintain weather patterns and improve in the formation of rain.  Desert biomes cover a fifth of the world. There are hot and cold deserts. The large desserts such as the Sahara are very hot and support a small number of plant and animal species. Lastly, the aquatic biome is the largest of all biomes and covers 75 per cent of the earth’s surface (Simon, Reece & Dickey, 2012). The biome is divided into freshwater and marine biomes. It supports a vast majority of aquatic plants and animals.

Threats to Elephant Population
Elephants in Africa are threatened and close to being an endangered species. Poaching crisis leaves hundreds if not thousands of elephants dead. Though the poaching trend is reducing, human activity threatens the life of these mammals.  Elephants are often victims of human attacks in retaliation to the animals’ attack on their farmland and crops. Climate change and activities such as land use breaks the habitat of elephants and is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Wildlife and human beings have been in coexistence for thousands of years. The growing populations have however led to encroachment of land that was once a habitat for wild animals. Destroyed habitats lead to the decrease of the elephant population as they have to migrate to other areas and climates that are not favourable. Elephant populations are subject to poaching, despite the immense international efforts to control the vice. The prices of ivory all over the world are still high, thus promoting activities such as poaching and illegal killing of the species, for meat or ivory (Gichohi, 2018). Another threat to elephants in Africa is the lack of controlled use of land. Most African nations do not have proper planning when it comes to land use and thus leading to the encroachment of elephant habitats.
Biodiversity and Elephant population
Biodiversity is all the plants and animal species that contribute to the entire ecosystem. Biodiversity boosts the productivity of the ecosystem where each plant or animal, however big or small, plays an important role.  Biodiversity affects the increase or decrease of any species on the plant. The elephant species, for instance, is dependent on the vegetation on the grasslands for survival. The more the vegetation, the healthier the elephant population, therefore higher levels of reproduction. When vegetation cover is destroyed, it affects the life of the animals in that there will not be enough food to maintain the population or promote breeding.  Species diversity is a way of sustaining life form on the planet. Pants depend on animals as animals depend on the plants. Elephants for instant help in the distribution of plant seeds across the savanna or forest biomes. Their waste enriches the ground with nutrients, and thus plants can grow. The plants, on the other hand, support the life of the elephants. A decrease in biodiversity, therefore, threatens the survival of species in a given habitat (Poole, 2020).
Population Growth Models
Density independent growth
It occurs when a population invades a new habitat that has abundant resources with little or no competition for such resources. The population thrives in such habitat for a while, and the population grows rapidly as the initial number of animal habitats is few. The density of the population does nit affects the future growth of the population. This increases the elephant population in that resources are abundant in a particular habitat. The elephants do not have competition from other species, such as the human population.  The exponential growth model explains such kind of growth in a population.
Density-dependent growth
This is when a population is already established in a particular habitat, and resources are scarce.  Competition plays a significant role in the ecosystem, and the habitat can only sustain a certain number of species. The habitat has a carrying capacity, and if the population surpasses that number, the resources are not enough to support the population. It can decrease and even crash to zero. The reduced resources regulate any further growth of the population. The elephant population in Africa is also affected by the decreasing resources in their natural habitat. Human encroachment of wildlife land for farming reduces the food and water resources for the population; thus, it reduces. The type of population growth or decrease is best explained through a logistic growth model (Markgraf, 2018).
Community Population Role in Elephant Population Preservation
The human populations and communities that interact with the human species have a considerable role to play to secure the animals. Community populations affect the habitats of elephants, as seen above. The growing human population leads to an increase in demand for farming land and thus encroachment in animal habitats. Such threats from a growing human population lead to a decrease in elephant population.  The increasing scarcity of food in the natural habitat leads to elephants moving into human farmland, destroying crops and thus conflict between the human and animal populations.  To safeguard the elephant population, specific strategies have to be employed. The first is to prevent any illegal killing of the species be it for game or poaching. Regulations and tough fines should be put in place to control the influence that the human population has on the elephant population. Another strategy is to protect the natural habitats where elephants thrive. Human population growth leads to encroachment, and different African governments should protect wildlife property from human activity. The above will reduce the conflict between the human and elephant populations. It is also the role of all governments in the world to reduce if not eliminate the demand from ivory. It will, in turn, minimise ivory trafficking and thus the need to poach elephant populations.

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