Animals in a Tropical Savanna That Are Endangered

By Laura Latzko
Trees, savannas
savanna 1 image by Bruce Hewitson from

A savanna is a type of tropical grassland that is found near tropical rainforests. They usually exist in areas with warmer climates, such as India, Botswana, Kenya, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and northern Australia. Savannas generally hold different types of vegetation, including shrubs and larger trees. Animals that can survive in a savanna often have to deal with a warm, dry climate and competition for food. Habitat destruction and hunting and poaching practices have contributed to the decline in the number of some savanna species.


African elephants, the largest land-based animal on earth, can grow to be between 10 and 13 feet in height and 6,600 and 13,200 pounds in weight. Asian elephants usually grow to be between 8 and 10 feet tall and 11,000 pounds in weight. The most distinguishable features on an elephant are their long tusks, ears and trunks. African elephants naturally exist in parts of sub-Saharan and Central Africa, including Kenya, Zimbabwe and Namibia. Asian elephants naturally exist in places in southern Asia and the Middle East, such as China, Iraq, India, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Elephants can survive on a diet of grasses, bark, mineral licks, bananas, sugar cane and other fruits. In nature, elephants can live to be between 60 and 70 years old. The number of African and Asian elephants has decreased dramatically because the animals have been poached for their tusks, which have been used for jewelry and piano keys. A loss of habitat due to ranching and farming has also contributed to the decrease in the population of these elephants.


Rhinoceros, animals that are often known as "rhinos," can be distinguished by their horns. The animals usually grow to be between 3 and 6 feet in height and between 1,300 and 4,400 pounds in weight, depending on what type of rhinoceros they are. Black rhinos exist in places in Africa, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. Javan, Sumatran and Indian rhinoceros exist in places such as Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Assam, Pakistan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Borneo or Sumatra, depending on the type of rhinos they are. Rhinoceros are herbivores, living on foods such as twigs, bark, branches, farm crops, aquatic plants, leaves or fruit. In nature, rhinoceros can live 40 to 45 years. Different types of rhinoceros have become endangered because of the practice of poaching their horns, which have been used in medicines. The number of rhinoceros has also declined because of hunting and farming practices.

Grevy's Zebra

Grevy's Zebras looks similar to other zebras, in that their bodies have a black and white striped pattern. They are distinguishable from other zebras by their white bellies, rounded ears and larger size. They usually grow to be between 4.5 and 5.5 feet in height and between 775 and 990 pounds in weight. This type of zebra lives on a diet of grasses, leaves and forbs. In nature, the animals can live between 20 and 30 years. They exist in Kenya and Ethiopia. These zebras have become endangered because of habitat loss from cattle farming. They have also been poached for their hides.


Cheetahs are fast-moving animals known for their brown, spotted hides, long tails, small heads and skinny bodies. The animals usually grow to be between 2 and 3 feet tall and between 75 and 143 pounds in weight. In nature, cheetahs exist in places such as Niger, Somalia, South Africa and Iran. They eat birds, porcupines, antelopes, rabbits, gazelles and wildebeests. In nature, cheetahs usually live between 8 and 12 years. Cheetahs have become endangered because of tourism in Africa, which has interfered with their eating patterns; genetic abnormalities within cheetah populations and a loss of habitat and food supply to humans.

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