The decline of elephant populations due to the illegal wildlife trade and poaching is now almost the stuff of legendary horror. While elephants roamed the forests and savannas of Africa in the millions in the past, the 20th century has seen an accelerated assault on their lives with populations declining from 10 million in the early 1900s to approximately 450,000 today.
While poaching threats continue unabated, climate change, biodiversity loss, and human wildlife conflict are equally as threatening to the long-term survival of Africa’s elephant populations.
Elephants are at the crossroads of multiple human system failures. In Kenya, 200 elephants died recently due to the drought bringing elephants in closer conflict with humans competing for limited resources. As a keystone species the loss or potential extinction of elephants will have devastating consequences for ecosystems dependent on them for their survival, driving a circle of degradation for all species, including humans.
How do we emerge from this human created mess? Elephanatics is committed to providing resources and education for people of all ages, with the intention of helping people understand that elephants, like the rest of the natural world, are an integral part of a broader ecology that help form the fabric of ecosystems essential to our collective survival. In Elephanatics’ latest lesson plan “Biodiversity and the Important Role of the African Elephant,” students from grades four to twelve will learn how to:
- Correctly use appropriate science vocabulary to include – biodiversity, keystone species, natural community, interrelationships, and characteristics.
- Describe interrelationships between the African elephant and their environment. Using pictures and words, explain why the African elephant is a keystone species.
- Identify human-caused species loss as one of the major current threats to biodiversity.
- Explain how the disappearance of the African elephant affects other species.
Link to lesson plan here.
View all our lesson plans here. All plans can be modified to suit grade appropriateness.
With a commitment to supporting education for future generations on the importance of protecting wildlife and biodiversity, we hope to ensure the long-term survival of Africa’s remaining population of extraordinary wild elephants.