The forest elephant, Loxodonta cyclotis, lives in the tropical areas of Central Africa and West Africa. It is only found in larger numbers in Gabon, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Liberia. Protecting these populations is not only critical to the future of the species in Central and West Africa, but it is also important for the climate.
The African forest elephant is less well known than the savanna elephant in East or South Africa. Ecological and political obstacles and its sometimes inaccessible habitat make it difficult to study and protect. For a long time, forest elephants were not considered a distinct species. But genetic studies show that the forest elephant is distinctly different from its savannah cousin.