With a watered-down UN Climate Change CoP26 wrapping up last week, much has been said about reducing global emissions but equally important is protecting the Planet’s biodiversity. In Africa, elephants play a pivotal role in preserving the continent’s great natural spaces.
Biologists often refer to African elephants (Loxodonta spp.) as ecosystem ‘architects’ and ‘gardeners’. They break branches off trees, sometimes the entire tree itself, creating clearings and larger open patches, most often near their vital water sources. Through their feeding habits, they maintain a multi-level structure in savannas both by reducing the tree to grass ratio and by stimulating leafy regrowth that increases forage supplies for other browsers. They create nutrient-rich microclimates underneath dead trees that then create microhabitats for seedlings and small vertebrates and invertebrate animals. Some bird species rely on elephants to create nesting sites in the hollows of the old dead trees knocked over by them. Read More Here