Asian Elephant

Indian Elephant


Elephas maximus






Extinction risk

Global IUCN statusEN


Head to body length

Shoulder Height: Male 275 cm; Female 240 Body Length (cm): 550-650 Tail: 120-150 m

Body weight (kg)

Body weight (kg) : male 4064; female 2743.


The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is listed as Endangered as there is reason to believe that the species has declined by at least 67% over the past 50 years (approximately: 2 generations) due primarily to hunting, human elephant conflict and habitat loss. There is no reason to believe that the rate of decline would have been lower when considering population reduction over three generations. Over the coming 50 years, this decline likely to continue at similar levels due to continuing habitat loss and trade demand. Although there are wild elephants still occurring countrywide, the elephant population in Myanmar will be continuing to decline due to these threats.


Wild population



Myanmar population

1,500 - 2,000

Global population

41,410 – 52,345

Estimate for the global population size of the Asian elephant was 41,410–52,345 (Sukumar 2003 , Choudhury et al. 2008). Up until the 1970s, expert-opinion based estimates of the wild population were at more than 6,000 animals in Myanmar (Leimgruber et al. 2011). The guesstimate for the wild elephant population was fewer than 2,000 elephants in 2017 in Myanmar. The current population estimate in Myanmar is 1,500-2,000 individuals (including juveniles). From this, we inferred a population size reduction of at least 50% over the last three generations. If threats continue, these may potentially lead to extinction of the wild population within 30 years.

Habitat ecology

This species occurs in tropical evergreen forest, semi-evergreen forest, moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forest, secondary forests and scrublands. Currently, forests in Myanmar are declining rapidly with an annual loss of 0.94% with less than 38% of forests now considered intact. Terrestrial.

Threats to survival

Threats to survival

Habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation (a reduction in habitat quality); illegal killing (e.g. for ivory, skin, teeth and other products or in retaliation for human–elephant conflict); and the genetic and demographic problems that result from small population size and isolation.

Instruction: The visualization shows threats that are impacting each species. According to IUCN, direct threats are the proximate human activities or processes that have impacted, are impacting, or may impact the the status of the taxon being assessed. Click of the highlighted icons to see details each threat category.

Use and trade

Sale of elephant skin for pharmaceutical products and ivory product for luxuries.

Conservation Actions


Research undertaken

Myanmar Elephant Conservation Action Plan (2018- 2021) has already been developed and is now being implemented. Law enforcement, distribution studies, human-elephant conflict mitigation, counter wildlife trade, public awareness raising. E. maximus is listed as completely protected species according to the Conservation of Biodiversity and Protected Area Law (2018).

Research needed

Cooperation with government agencies for elephant conservation.

Assessed by

Htet Arkar Aung,Zarni Aung,Kyaw Khaung Thant Zin,Toe Tet Zeya,Sapai Min,Margaret Nyein Nyein Myint

Reviewed by

James Tallant,Monica Böhm



National Redlist of Threatened Species in Myanmar

The Myanmar National Red List of threatened species contributes to the GEF funded “Strengthening Sustainability of Protected Area Management in Myanmar” project. To support the National Biodiversity Strategy Action Plan (2015-2020), Target 12 for commitment to prevent the extinction of known threatened species and improve their conservation status, the National Red List of some selected taxa has been produced. This report summarizes the assessment process and its results with detailed descriptions for some selected threatened species in Myanmar.