Tag Archives: global law & policy

Why Everyone Needs Wild Elephants


Elephants are a “keystone species”.  Cast your mind back, if you will, to history class, where you learned that the keystone is the final piece put in place to complete a stone arch.  Without the keystone, the arch cannot be self-supporting.  An arch with no keystone will not look like an arch anymore; it will be sight more akin to the aftermath of a great tragedy than a triumph of the human collective.

Without elephants, the African savanna would not be the savanna anymore.  Mega herds of wildebeest, for example, play a great role in keeping down the scrub and trees to maintain the grasslands, but none play so big a part as the elephant.  Consuming copious amounts of vegetation – at least 200-250kg of food per day – roaming across vast distances, the elephant spreads seed and fertilizer like no other, not to mention their penchant for scratching against anything resembling a post until it is reduced to mere twigs.

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