Elephant Photo Safari - Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) is one of three recognized subspecies of the Asian elephant, and native to Sri Lanka. Since 1986, Elephas maximus has been listed as endangered by IUCN as the population has declined by at least 50% over the last three generations, estimated to be 60–75 years. The species is pre-eminently threatened by habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation.[1]

Elephas maximus maximus is the type subspecies of the Asian elephant, first described by Carl Linnaeus under the binominal Elephas maximusin 1758.[2]

The Sri Lankan elephant population is now largely restricted to the dry zone in the north, east and southeast of Sri Lanka. Elephants are present in Udawalawe National ParkYala National ParkLunugamvehera National ParkWilpattu National Park and Minneriya National Park but also live outside protected areas. It is estimated that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia. Human-elephant conflict is increasing due to conversion of elephant habitat to settlements and permanent cultivation.[3]