The significance of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) for ecosystem is now evidently known. It is a critically endangered species in Bangladesh. The conservation of this species is crucial to the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological integrity of Bangladesh. In the middle of twenty first century, there were more than 500 elephants present in their natural habitats throughout Bangladesh, but recent estimates show that the number is not higher than 220 in the wild. With only about 250 individuals left in the wild, elephant is severely threatened throughout its range in Bangladesh. The population of wild elephants has declined drastically in last two centuries because of habitat fragmentation and destruction caused by the expansion of agriculture and human settlement. The growing pressure on elephant habitats and movement corridors results human elephant conflict in terms of crop raid and both human and elephant casualties. It is thus essential to identify the present status of elephants and come up with a structured action plan to conserve remaining Asian elephants in Bangladesh.
The goal of the project was “to conserve Asian elephants in Bangladesh for contributing to the biological diversity and ecological integrity of the country”.