Commemorative issue American Museum of Natural History centenary
African elephant herd
African elephants are native to parts of southern, central, and eastern Africa, living in forests, grasslands, river valleys, and deserts. Its numbers have been reduced by overhunting, principally for its ivory tusks. Where it is protected, it tends to overpopulate and defoliate its range, resulting in its own starvation. The African elephant uses its trunk to strip trees of branches and bark and even to uproot them. There is a ban on ivory trading. Initiated in 1989, the ban was put into place when the African elephant was declared endangered by the U.N.'s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.