Sumatran Elephant Elephas maximus sumatranus

Spotlight on Sumatran Elephants - Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Sumatran Elephant Elephas maximus sumatranus

Critically Endangered

Population: 2,400 – 2,800

Sumatran #Elephants are rapidly disappearing, critically endangered in #Sumatra #Indonesia due to #palmoil #deforestation and #poaching. Support their survival at the supermarket. Join the #Boycott4Wildlife

While Sumatra is home to several of the country’s largest national parks, many areas in these parks are destroyed—illegally—to produce palm oil. The Sumatran subspecies of elephant is listed as Critically Endangered (CR)


While Sumatra is home to several of the country’s largest national parks, many areas in these parks are destroyed—illegally—to produce palm oil. The elephant population across the island is crashing, with far fewer than 3,000 surviving, as herds are left homeless, harassed and killed due to intense conflict with people over shrinking habitat. The Asian Elephant is one of the last few mega-herbivores (i.e. plant-eating mammals that reach an adult body weight in excess of 1,000 kg) still extant on earth (Owen-Smith, 1988). Being hindgut fermenters with relatively poor digestive efficiency (Dumonceaux 2006), elephants must consume large quantities of food per day to meet energy requirements. The lack of reliable population estimates across most of the Asian elephant range presents a considerable challenge to detecting such declines. Nevertheless, from what is known about trends in habitat loss/degradation and other threats including poaching, an overall population decline of at least 50% since 1945 over the last three generations (estimated to be 75 years, based on a generation time estimated to be 25 years) seems realistic. The Sumatran subspecies is listed as Critically Endangered

Spotlight on Sumatran Elephants – Craig Jones Wildlife Photography

Without direct intervention in the national parks the Orangutans along with other forest-dependant wildlife- like the Sumatran Tigers and Elephants will become progressively scarcer until their populations are no longer viable. Spotlight Sumatra – The Final Chapter by Craig Jones

Help the organisations helping these beautiful animals

Sumatran Elephant Conservation Initiative e.V.

Way Kambas National Park Sumatra

Further Information


Gopala, A., Hadian, O., Sunarto, ., Sitompul, A., Williams, A., Leimgruber, P., Chambliss, S.E. & Gunaryadi, D. 2011. Elephas maximus ssp. sumatranus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2011: e.T199856A9129626. Downloaded on 19 January 2021.

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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