In Case You Didn’t Know…

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Ever wondered how plants & vegetation grow in plains? I mean, think about it, no one goes out to the plains and decides to grow plants in the open spaces. Well, thank the largest animal on land, the elephant. Elephants are keystone species that help maintain the biodiversity of earth’s ecosystems. When these gentle giants eat, they leave gaps on the ground that allow new vegetation to grow. Their trunks not only help clear their way for their own sake, but for small animals as well.

Elephant dung is filled with seeds, which when deposited allows them to grow into bushes, grasses, and trees. Some plants rely on elephants to disperse their seeds; I guess we can call it elephant dispersal. Elephants come to the rescue of small animals during times of drought as they use their tusks to dig for water.

Unfortunately, widespread poaching in the past reduced the elephant population in the country, thereby threatening ecosystems. However, joint efforts between the government and other nongovernmental organizations have reduced such incidences. Some of these organizations include, but not limited to, David Sheldrick, World Wildlife Fund, and Save the Elephants. Visit their websites and get to know more about their work, and how you can contribute to save this keystone species.


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