In this way, plant material can be dropped off thousands of metres away from where the plants were initially eaten. Elephants serve a critical role in our ecosystem and are therefore known as a “keystone species.” Keystone species are those that provide vital ecosystem services, many of which are essential for the survival of other species in the community. Threats. These services not only benefit elephants, but other species as well. As well as being home to the largest single population of Asian elephants in the world, the Nilgiris is also one of the most important tiger habitats in the country. It’s clear how the presence of elephants in an ecosystem benefits fauna and flora alike. They provide numerous ecosystem services, such as providing food, shelter and water, helping to create pathways in forests, and identifying salt licks. The submerged beetle larvae that fed off of the dung are a source of food for a number of different animals – like field mice and honey badgers. Â, This means that by supporting the survival of beetle populations, elephant dung also supports the survival of a wide variety of life on land.Â, Elephants also bring down branches that may have been too high up for smaller animals to reach. They can then use their tusks to dig for water and create new watering holes, which allows them to survive during the drought season. Elephants are called nature’s gardeners due to how they change landscapes by digging waterholes, creating footpaths, opening up habitats and dispersing seeds in their dung. An estimated 35,000 are killed every year for their tusks; the natural growth rate in most elephant populations has yet to overtake the rate of killings. Coefficient Of Restitution: Definition, Explanation And Formula. Dung beetles thriving in elephant dung (Photo Credit : Emile E Wendling/Shutterstock). Because of their size, there’s not much that can get in an elephant’s way.Â, In forests, elephants create clearings by trampling vegetation. Exeter, Devon, EX1 3QS, UK Despite its venerated status, the Asian elephant has never been safe from mistreatment by humans. Elephants are among the most intelligent of the creatures with whom we share the planet, with complex consciousnesses that are capable of strong emotions. They say African elephants “have at least 40 copies of genes that code for p53, the protein well known for its cancer-inhibiting properties,” whereas humans have only two copies of those genes (Muchangi). Elephants play an important role. In this way, plant material can be dropped off thousands of metres away from where the plants were initially eaten. They will then use their tusks to dig into the soil and then bend down to eat it. These swarms then act as a food source for birds who feed on the insects. It is a relationship that exists between all the components of an environment. Many regions arounds the globe are facing a crisis of water scarcity. (Photo Credit : Nattawut Areepunth/Shutterstock). This assists in keeping the savannah an open plain, interspersed with trees and bushes – instead of overrun by them – and supports the type of species that like to live in the savannah biome.Â. Elephants serve a critical role in our ecosystem and are therefore known as a “keystone species.” Keystone species are those that provide vital ecosystem services, many of which are essential for the survival of other species in the community. However, […] Dung beetles are also known to collect elephant dung and store it as a source of food for their larvae. That means if those elephants no longer existed, neither would hundreds of other species that depend on elephants. Name three elephant activities or functions that justify the term “keystone species” and describe how the activity changes African ecosystems. When resources are scarce, however, they can obtain other minerals, especially sodium, directly from the soil. What is Quantum Entanglement: Explained in Simple Words. Besides feeding on dung, dung beetles also bury the dung below the ground where their larvae can feed and grow. What are Glial Cells: Definition, Types, Functions of Glial Cells | Role in Psychology, Elephants are also among the most intelligent species on Earth. What species are we talking about? When you visit the elephants of Hope, Maine you don't just see elephants, you learn about them. As you can see, elephants play a very important role in their respective ecosystems. Everything in our ecosystem is therefore interconnected, so the removal of one species can severely threaten the survival of another. As elephants move from one area to another, they help plants colonize and grow in newer regions, thus creating additional habitats for animals. But there are many studies showing that we need to up our game when it comes to elephant conservation. What does that mean? In fact, some studies have suggested that elephants can disperse seeds over distances of more than 50 kilometres.Â. Why are Elephants Important? In some continents, particularly across Africa, elephants were given respect as the people share the habitat with them; hence representing cultural importance. Be the first to answer! Great apes, including orangutans, are of great scientific interest due to their high cognitive abilities and the many similarities they share behaviorally and physically with humans. Many elephants are also the victims of retaliatory attacks after they venture into human settlement and farm areas. Species that essentially help to maintain the biodiversity of a community by controlling the population of other species, or otherwise controlling the environment for another species are generally known as keystone species. Similarly, elephants pull down and uproot thorny bushes, which further helps in clearing safe pathways for smaller animals. Elephants contribute to the health of the environment in many different ways, and elephant conservation efforts are important in ensuring that they’re always around to do what they do best – be elephants!. Ecosystem Engineers: Elephant Eating Habits Influence Lizard Habitat Choices Date: January 31, 2008 Source: Ecological Society of America Summary: An examination of … Areas heavily damaged by elephants are home to more species of amphibians and reptiles than areas when the beasts are excluded, a study suggests. These fallen tree parts become food for large herbivores like gaur (bos gaurus) and sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), who also share ecosystem space with elephants. Why should you save elephants? Each part of the ecosystem is important because ecosystems are interdependent. But there are many studies showing that we need to up our game when it comes to elephant conservation. This gives these animals access to more food.Â, So these floppy-eared food-providers support the survival of other creatures and contribute to species biodiversity within ecosystems.Â, Original photo: Elephant Bath by Keith Roper is licensed under CC BY 2.0. These broad-eared creatures also play a crucial role in several religions, cultures and traditions across the world, and several communities worship them. That means they create and maintain their own ecosystems. Elephants, of course! An ecosystem can be defined as the biological community of living beings, communicating with the physical environment and other nonliving components. 3. Underwater, gigantic beings like killer whales and dugongs wander alongside smaller creatures like sea horses and clownfish. At the same time, around 8% of the elephant population is lost each year, so the prospect of these keystone species becoming extinct isn’t as far-fetched as it may seem.Â, Take a look at just four ways that elephants have a huge positive impact on the environments they live in, and how they contribute to wildlife conservation just by doing what elephants do best.Â, The African elephant is the largest herbivore in the world, and even though the Asian elephant is smaller in stature, it’s still considered one of the herbivorous heavyweights of the animal kingdom. Butterflies congregating around elephant dung (Photo Credit : Joris Wiersinga/Shutterstock). And, because different types of animals rely on different types of plants, this can promote species biodiversity, providing new niches for organisms to inhabit. What Are Murder Hornets And How Dangerous Are They? In fact, some studies have suggested that elephants can disperse seeds over distances of more than 50 kilometres.Â, “Dung Beetle / Addo Elephant Park / South Africa”, Environmental and Corporate Sustainability, Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies, Social Entrepreneurship and Impact Investing, Foundations in Climate Change & Sustainability, Sustainable Development Career Accelerator. Original photo: “Dung Beetle / Addo Elephant Park / South Africa” by Michael Mayer is licensed under CC BY 2.0, Elephant dung is an important – and plentiful – source of food for a host of different types of dung beetles. What Is The Fibonacci Sequence? Kangaroos are important for the ecosystem they evolve in, and are, therefore important. ... the elephants ecosystem is made out of dirt,water,and differents types of wood. An elephant footprint can also enable a micro-ecosystem that, when filled with water, can provide a home for tadpoles and other organisms. For instance, in Myanmar, a group of researchers observed that during the dry season, elephant tracks fill up with water, which creates an ideal environment for frogs to lay their eggs and for tadpoles to grow. Where do elephants live and why are they important for the environment? The Important Role Elephants Play Gardener. What Would Happen If You Shot A Bullet On A Train?