Article

A brief review of the status, distribution and biology of wild Asian elephants Elephas maximus

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Abstract

The Asian elephant Elephas maximus is distributed discontinuously across the Asian continent. The total wild population is 38 500-52 500, with a further c. 16 000 in captivity, the majority of which are in range countries. India has 60% of the global population of wild Asian elephants. The species has a multi-tiered social system with ♀♀ living in matriarchal groups of five to 20 individuals that interact with other family units in the area. Adult ♂♂ live alone or in small, temporary groups with weak social bonds. Asian elephants are megaherbivores that spend 12-18 hours per day feeding, and they eat browse and plants depending on availability and season. Home-range size is dependant on the availability of food, water and shelter in the region. Loss and fragmentation of habitat, human-elephant conflicts and poaching are the greatest threats to the species. Asian elephants are managed using traditional and modern methods but progress still needs to be made to improve welfare, training and breeding for these animals.

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... Elephants being mega-herbivores, need to fulfill their daily food requirement -approximately 150 -300 kg which is 10%of their body weight (Eisenberg, 1980;Sukumar, 2006;Liyanage et al., 2021). In order to meet their food requirement they have evolved into generalist herbivores consuming a wide range of vegetation (Fernando, 2015) including palms, grasses, early succession plants and others, but which inevitably includes crops like oil palm, rubber, durian, banana and other vegetables and fruits (Ong, 2020). ...
... The actors involved with regards to HEC are the elephants, the locals, and the government or state agencies. B) Resources at Stake -In most cases conflicts emerge in response to either competing or claiming over allocated natural resources or accesses to them (Scialabba, 1998;Sukumar, 2006). Conflict mitigation might be physical (e.g. ...
... For example, iodine, a key nutrient for reproduction and a nutrient that is directly or indirectly essential for brain growth is likely to be deficient in wild plants (Milewski, 2000;Sach et al., 2019) while several species of cultivated plants have sufficient iodine to meet the iodine requirement for humans who are prone to be iodine-deficient (Sauchelli, 1969). When nutritious and palatable crops like sugarcane, oil palm, paddy, coconut are cultivated, cropraiding becomes inevitable (Santiapillai and Ramono, 1993;Sukumar, 2006) as it reduces foraging time and enables elephants to optimize their nutrient intake (Santiapillai and Ramono, 1993). This behaviour is known as the optimal foraging strategy (Stephens, 1986). ...
Article
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Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is an ongoing issue of concern in all elephant range countries including Peninsular Malaysia. The clearing of forest land for agricultural expansion and urbanisation has reduced available habitat for elephants and other wildlife. The competition for space, that results in forest further fragmentation, leads to conflict which adversely affects communities living next to forest with elephants. Since smallholder community’s land represents about 38% in total planted area of oil palm and 93% of the planted rubber area in Malaysia, understanding the impact of human-elephant conflict on them is crucial when designing HEC mitigation approaches and in promoting human-elephant coexistence for the agriculture sector. The smallholder community in Malaysia is categorised into two groups, namely: i) Independent smallholders – those who grow their crops without help from external agencies and ii) Organised smallholders – farmers who are supported by government or any organization either through technical assistance, finance, or agricultural inputs. Following a participatory research approach, and a snowball sampling technique I assessed the Visible cost (e.g., either monetary or by considering the cost of seedlings, fertilizers, and pesticides) and Hidden cost (e.g., worry and exhaustion from guarding crops, loss of work opportunities, etc) for both independent (n=142) and organised (n=27) smallholders and examined their perception of insurance schemes as a financial tool. Respondents perceived elephants, wild boars, and macaques as top conflict animals. Yearly crop loss suffered by 137 respondents on oil palm, rubber, durian, and banana that included seedling, labour, fertilizer, and pesticide cost, due to conflict with elephants, was reported to be RM 2,962,475 for an area size of 11,460.51 acres. Mitigation cost (covering 5 years) that included installation of measures and repair cost amounted to RM 3,593,449.32 as reported by the smallholders during the survey. The smallholders admitted that factors such as lack of knowledge (58%), high cost (82%), and failed past attempts (66%) prevented them from deploying mitigation methods. But they were willing to try insurance as a financial mitigation tool to secure their crops against damage. In all, 35.5% (60) smallholders were willing to invest in insurance premium with majority opting for an amount below RM 200, which reflects the range they are willing to invest monetarily. Aspects of hidden cost that comprised of psychological stress (92.47%), fatigue due to guarding crops (84.56%) in the night and being vigilant (89.47%) were also reported. Opportunity loss was reported to be lower than expected. Attitudes of smallholders were found to be influenced by age, level of education, and past experience of property damage. These results can help support management recommendations to promote human-elephant coexistence for the agriculture sector in Peninsular Malaysia, such as the development of smallholder insurance scheme and helping conservation agencies understand grievances and challenges faced by smallholders in implementing conflict mitigation measures.
... All most all the incidents occurred during the dawn time between 3 to 5 am when refugees were in sleep and male and children were the utmost victims. Sukumar (2006) also found that an elephant usually comes to the settlements between dusk and dawn. Due to frequent elephant attacked, many kids have become scared of elephants and other animals and no longer seek out places of education or therapy. ...
... So, it is now highly recommended to study the current E. maximus movement patterns and necessary care and mitigation measures before taking a final decision to expand the mentioned camp sites. Sukumar (2006) suggested that an elephant usually comes to the settlements are strongly seasonal, corresponding with crop harvesting periods. Paddy harvest season and monsoon will be brought E. maximus from the forest closer to Rohingya settlements in search of food. ...
... Due to highly diverse food habit, E. maximus are acting as a seed dispersal agent in the forest ecosystem, can disperse a large variety of plant species at a given site, which ultimately shape the structure, composition, and function of forest ecosystems (Campos-Arceiz and Blake 2011). Moreover, the large amounts of dung generated help nutrient cycling in the forest ecosystem and also facilitate the dispersal of seeds (Sukumar 2006). Therefore, reducing the number and the loss of E. maximus will have long-term negative consequences of the distribution of plant species and whole forest ecosystem in Cox's Bazar. ...
Article
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About 930,000 Rohingya people were migrated in the Cox's Bazar district of Bangladesh following the ethnic cleansing violence in the Rakhine State of Myanmar. They built their camps by clearing the natural forests and social forestry plantations which was one of the important natural habitat and corridor of critically endangered wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Bangladesh. The Rohingya people extensively collected timber and fuelwood for construction and cooking from the forests and destroyed nearly 2,000 hectares of forest land. As a result, in search of food and route for natural movement, E. maximus entered into the camps, destroyed the settlements and a severe human-elephant conflicts arose resulted in 13 refugees were killed and nearly 50 people were injured. Studies revealed that there are 48 E. maximus is roaming around the camps, and all most all the incidents occurred during the dawn time where male and children were the main victims. Government, aid agencies and NGOs are operating in the field to take on the state of affairs. They commenced to enhance consciousness, setting up 56 watchtowers and 30 volunteer elephant response teams to warn residents when elephants enter the camp. Reduction in demand of fuelwood through supplementing the alternative fuel, reforestation with native and fruit-bearing tree species, agroforestry practices, plantation of elephant preferred fodder species, ensure safe trans-boundary corridors, and non-forestry income-generating activities can reduce and mitigate the Rohingya and. E. maximus conflicts.
... The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), the only extant species of the genus Elephas which belongs to family Elephantidae of order Proboscidea is currently restricted to 13 countries in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia (Sukumar, 2006). The range of Asian elephant does not extend beyond India to the west and Borneo to the east. ...
... The range of Asian elephant does not extend beyond India to the west and Borneo to the east. However, this species once roamed an extended range from western Asia to the east as far as the Yangtze River in China (Olivier, 1978;Sukumar, 2006). The Asian elephant has disappeared from 95% of its historical range and currently distributed in discontinuous populations (Sukumar, 2006). ...
... However, this species once roamed an extended range from western Asia to the east as far as the Yangtze River in China (Olivier, 1978;Sukumar, 2006). The Asian elephant has disappeared from 95% of its historical range and currently distributed in discontinuous populations (Sukumar, 2006). The largest population of Asian elephants is found in the mainland of India (24,000-33,000) followed by considerable populations in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia (>1000). ...
Article
Full-text available
The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), the only extant species of the genus Elephas which belongs to family Elephantidae of order Proboscidea is currently restricted to 13 countries in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia (Sukumar, 2006). The range of Asian elephant does not extend beyond India to the west and Borneo to the east. However, this species once roamed an extended range from western Asia to the east as far as the Yangtze River in China (Olivier, 1978; Sukumar, 2006). The Asian elephant has disappeared from 95% of its historical range and currently distributed in discontinuous populations (Sukumar, 2006). The largest population of Asian elephants is found in the mainland of India (24,000-33,000) followed by considerable populations in Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia (>1000). Small populations can be observed in Bhutan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Vietnam and China (<1000) (Sukumar, 2006). According to Menon and Tiwari (2019) the current total population of Asian elephants in the world is c. 48,323–51,680 in the wild and c. 15,000 in captivity which spreads over an area of 486,800 km2. These figures give us a crude estimate of the population density of the species; ~0.10 individuals/km2 or 10 individuals per 100 km2. Given the body size of the Asian elephant, being the second largest terrestrial species of the world, this estimated density is considerably high and provides an indication how diminished and fragmented the populations are. Asia is also the most populated region of the world when human population is considered. Therefore, the obvious competition between the humans and elephants for the resources and habitats continues from the past to the present giving rise to the human-elephant conflict (HEC). With numerous threats mainly induced by habitat loss/fragmentation, poaching and HEC, the Asian elephant population has significantly declined by at least 50 percent over a period of less than 100 years (Sukumar, 1992). Therefore, E. maximus has been categorized as an endangered (EN) species (IUCN, 2021). This paper aims to briefly review the current status of Asian elephant and HEC in the present range of the species within different parts of Asia.
... Most such online cloud-based data sources are either, created and maintained by government agencies or by international collaboration (eg. The US Federal Data Committee, National Spatial Data Initiative -USA, European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information, National Informatics Centre, Govt of India, https://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in) or by citizen science programs (see Devictor et al. 2010 (Sukumar, 2006). Historically, Asian elephants were believed to be widely distributed -from Tigris -Euphrates in West Asia eastward through Persia into the Indian sub-continent, South and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and up to North China (Olivier, 1978;Sukumar, 2006). ...
... The US Federal Data Committee, National Spatial Data Initiative -USA, European Umbrella Organization for Geographic Information, National Informatics Centre, Govt of India, https://bhuvan.nrsc.gov.in) or by citizen science programs (see Devictor et al. 2010 (Sukumar, 2006). Historically, Asian elephants were believed to be widely distributed -from Tigris -Euphrates in West Asia eastward through Persia into the Indian sub-continent, South and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and up to North China (Olivier, 1978;Sukumar, 2006). However, this former range which once covered over 9,000,000 km², has now shrunk to 486,800 km² (Sukumar, 2006). ...
... Historically, Asian elephants were believed to be widely distributed -from Tigris -Euphrates in West Asia eastward through Persia into the Indian sub-continent, South and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and up to North China (Olivier, 1978;Sukumar, 2006). However, this former range which once covered over 9,000,000 km², has now shrunk to 486,800 km² (Sukumar, 2006). Out of this, the current elephant distribution in India is spread over around 110000 km 2 (about 3.5%) of its former range (Baskaran et al. 2011). ...
Article
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The available information hosted on the Western Ghat Spatial Data Infrastructure-an open-source database was used to showcase some simple yet useful spatial and statistical analysis tools for the wildlife managers away in the field with limited GIS and statistics capacity. In Indian scenario, the flagship species Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) is an important subject for application of management efforts of landscape. Available data on elephant sighting as well as anthropogenic and landscape parameters were extracted. Elephants were found to be frequent in primary moist deciduous vegetation type (χ 2 = 12.62, p ≤ 0.05) with gentle to moderate undulation (χ 2 = 25.42, p ≤ 0.01). Elephants responded to anthropogenic structures like roads (t =-3.36, p ≤ 0.05), human settlements (t =-2.06, p ≤ 0.05) and agriculture tanks (t =-2.18, p ≤ 0.05) The current work is not intended to arrive at any conclusion on elephant ecology or behaviour but to showcase how open-source data and tools can help wildlife managers in assessing the animal distribution pattern and animal response to various environmental and anthropogenic factors.
... It is a belief that in the wild, most females are either pregnant or lactating, have fewer reproductive cycles than living in captivity (Hildebrandt) [20] , (Boedeker et al.,) [21] . In some wild Asian elephants, the sex ratio is highly skewed, with many more females than males, for instance, there are some populations where the sex ratio is 1:100 (Sukumar) [22] . This is caused by the fact that more males have been poached because only male Asian elephants have tusks (Kurt et al.,) [23] , (Sukumar) [22] , given in Table 1. ...
... In some wild Asian elephants, the sex ratio is highly skewed, with many more females than males, for instance, there are some populations where the sex ratio is 1:100 (Sukumar) [22] . This is caused by the fact that more males have been poached because only male Asian elephants have tusks (Kurt et al.,) [23] , (Sukumar) [22] , given in Table 1. ...
... Gadgil & Nair, 1984;Kurt et al., 1995;Brown, 2000;Sukumar, 2006;Hildebrandt et al., 2006;Boedeker et al., 2012 ...
Article
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Since elephants have a gigantic impact on the ecosystem, so this is a major issue for their conservation. In this perspective, the review article could assist to identify such beneficial events as the welfare in any geographical area. This type of review method carries a fashionable amount of key points in evolution and conservation biology. Antecedent superstitions, as well as animal parts for traditional treatments and so-called clashes with elephants, had been noted very clearly. Abuse of elephants was common in the circus team. As these mastodons are huge animal, so it needs a large amount of lands with other facilities (walking, grooming, bathing, wallowing, playing, etc.), and at the end their suitable breeding ground. A routine-wise medical checkup should be maintained by a registered veterinarian in ex-situ enclosures.
... The habitats of the three extant elephant species are rather diverse. African savannah elephants range over various habitats, such as tropical forests, grasslands and even deserts (Haynes, 1991), while the current dispersal of African forest elephants (Blake, 2002) and Asian elephants (Sukumar, 2006) is more limited to forests. ...
... All three extant elephant species are generalist feeders and their diets change in response to food availability. Grasses predominate in the diets of African savannah and Asian elephants during the wet season, when grasses grow rapidly, while leaves and woody material are consumed in large quantities during the rest of the year (Codron et al., 2006;Haynes, 1991;Sukumar, 2006). African forest elephants also consume grasses and tree material, such as leaves and bark, with fruits forming an important part of their diet as well (Blake, 2002;Tchamba and Seme, 1993). ...
... Sexual segregation is present in all three extant elephant species. This means that females spend most of their lives in matriarchal herds, usually consisting of five to 20 individuals, but larger herds have been observed as well (Haynes, 1991;Sukumar, 2006). Herd sizes are generally smaller in African forest elephants, possibly due to higher resource competition (Blake, 2002;Goldenberg et al., 2021). ...
Article
The ecology and behaviour of woolly and Columbian mammoths and mastodons have been extensively studied. Despite this, their patterns of mobility, and particularly the question of whether or not they migrated habitually, remains unclear. This paper summarises the current state of knowledge regarding mobility in these species, reviewing comparative datasets from extant elephant populations as well as isotopic data measured directly on the ancient animals themselves. Seasonal migration is not common in modern elephants and varies between years. Nonetheless, non-migratory elephants can still have considerable home ranges, whose size is affected mainly by habitat, seasonal availability of water and food, and biological sex. Strontium isotope analyses of woolly mammoths, Columbian mammoths, and mastodons demonstrate plasticity in their migratory behaviour as well, probably in response to spatio-temporal variations in ecological conditions. However, biological sex is difficult to establish for most proboscidean fossils and its influence on the results of Sr analyses can therefore not be assessed. Advances in intra-tooth sampling and analytical methods for strontium isotope analysis have enabled research on intra-annual movement, revealing nomadic behaviour in all three species. Sulfur isotopes have been analysed from woolly mammoth remains numerous times, but its methodology is not yet developed well enough to inform on past proboscidean mobility in as much detail as strontium studies. The inter- and intra-individual variation in migratory behaviour in mammoths and mastodons implies that their role in the subsistence strategies of Palaeolithic people may have fluctuated as well. Further assessment of hominin-proboscidean predator-prey interactions will require a more detailed understanding of proboscidean habitual mobility in specific contexts and places. Strontium isotope studies based on multi-year enamel sequences from multiple individuals have the potential to provide this insight.
... The species is believed to have diverged from the extinct elephant species since the Late Pleistocene. The Asian elephant occupied habitats ranging from the West of Indian subcontinent to Southeast Asia and China 6,000 years ago, but nowadays it has disappeared almost entirely from its historical range (Sukumar, 2006;Williams et al., 2020). Major threats to elephants include habitat loss and fragmentation, human-elephant conflict, and poaching for illegal trade. ...
... Major threats to elephants include habitat loss and fragmentation, human-elephant conflict, and poaching for illegal trade. Changes in land cover across Asia due to rapid human population and economic growth have led to a reduction of suitable habitats for elephants (Sukumar, 2006). Human-elephant conflict arises from an overlap in spaces and has caused fatality and injury in both human and the animal every year. ...
... Apart from ivory, the elephant is poached for other products such as skin and meat. The elephant population is now restricted to fragmented habitats in 13 Asian countries, where 60% of the global population are in India (Sukumar, 2006;Williams et al., 2020). ...
Conference Paper
It is suggested climate change contributes considerably to global biodiversity loss. Southeast Asia, one of the world’s richest biodiversity hotspots, is predicted to lose most of its species by 2100. Hence, it is important to identify the key impact of environmental changes in order to develop more appropriate and effective conservation plans to mitigate species extinction risks. In this thesis, Species Distribution Modelling (SDM) techniques were used to predict potential species distributions in relation to 6 climatic variables. The effects of climate changes on large mammal distributions were examined across three time intervals: past (the last interglacial ~120,000 – 140,000 years before present), present (AD 1945 - present) and future (2050); while rates of species range shifts between the time intervals were also determined. It is found that large mammals are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The species will have to move 33 – 105 times faster than they once did in the past in order to search out suitable habitat. There is also evidence of niche conservatism and niche shift among the taxa. However, species niche shifts likely result from anthropogenic factors. Limited availability of species occurrence data in many parts of the world leads to an increased use of species range maps in research on species responses to changing environments. Predictions based on SDMs suggest that relying on a single data source may skew the species’ realistic threatened status and misguide conservation planning. The Zonation software was employed to evaluate the effectiveness of protected areas (PAs) in Thailand under future warming climate and identify high priority areas. Currently, nearly 60% of high priority areas fall within the PAs. In the future, the conservation values of the PAs are expected to remain relatively unchanged. However, it is suggested that enhancing PAs connectivity in the northern part of the country may yield a high return on conservation investment. A deliberate and consistent conservation effort will also be needed to maintain the effectiveness of the existing PAs.
... Elephants being mega-herbivores, need to fulfill their daily food requirement -approximately 150 -300 kg which is 10%of their body weight (Eisenberg, 1980;Sukumar, 2006;Liyanage et al., 2021). In order to meet their food requirement they have evolved into generalist herbivores consuming a wide range of vegetation (Fernando, 2015) including palms, grasses, early succession plants and others, but which inevitably includes crops like oil palm, rubber, durian, banana and other vegetables and fruits (Ong, 2020). ...
... The actors involved with regards to HEC are the elephants, the locals, and the government or state agencies. B) Resources at Stake -In most cases conflicts emerge in response to either competing or claiming over allocated natural resources or accesses to them (Scialabba, 1998;Sukumar, 2006). Conflict mitigation might be physical (e.g. ...
... For example, iodine, a key nutrient for reproduction and a nutrient that is directly or indirectly essential for brain growth is likely to be deficient in wild plants (Milewski, 2000;Sach et al., 2019) while several species of cultivated plants have sufficient iodine to meet the iodine requirement for humans who are prone to be iodine-deficient (Sauchelli, 1969). When nutritious and palatable crops like sugarcane, oil palm, paddy, coconut are cultivated, cropraiding becomes inevitable (Santiapillai and Ramono, 1993;Sukumar, 2006) as it reduces foraging time and enables elephants to optimize their nutrient intake (Santiapillai and Ramono, 1993). This behaviour is known as the optimal foraging strategy (Stephens, 1986). ...
Thesis
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Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is an ongoing issue of concern in all elephant range countries including Peninsular Malaysia. The clearing of forest land for agricultural expansion and urbanisation has reduced available habitat for elephants and other wildlife. The competition for space, that results in forest further fragmentation, leads to conflict which adversely affects communities living next to forest with elephants. Since smallholder community’s land represents about 38% in total planted area of oil palm and 93% of the planted rubber area in Malaysia, understanding the impact of human-elephant conflict on them is crucial when designing HEC mitigation approaches and in promoting human-elephant coexistence for the agriculture sector. The smallholder community in Malaysia is categorised into two groups, namely: i) Independent smallholders – those who grow their crops without help from external agencies and ii) Organised smallholders – farmers who are supported by government or any organization either through technical assistance, finance, or agricultural inputs. Following a participatory research approach, and a snowball sampling technique I assessed the Visible cost (e.g., either monetary or by considering the cost of seedlings, fertilizers, and pesticides) and Hidden cost (e.g., worry and exhaustion from guarding crops, loss of work opportunities, etc) for both independent (n=142) and organised (n=27) smallholders and examined their perception of insurance schemes as a financial tool. Respondents perceived elephants, wild boars, and macaques as top conflict animals. Yearly crop loss suffered by 137 respondents on oil palm, rubber, durian, and banana that included seedling, labour, fertilizer, and pesticide cost, due to conflict with elephants, was reported to be RM 2,962,475 for an area size of 11,460.51 acres. Mitigation cost (covering 5 years) that included installation of measures and repair cost amounted to RM 3,593,449.32 as reported by the smallholders during the survey. The smallholders admitted that factors such as lack of knowledge (58%), high cost (82%), and failed past attempts (66%) prevented them from deploying mitigation methods. But they were willing to try insurance as a financial mitigation tool to secure their crops gainst damage. In all, 35.5% (60) smallholders were willing to invest in insurance premium with majority opting for an amount below RM 200, which reflects the range they are willing to invest monetarily. Aspects of hidden cost that comprised of psychological stress (92.47%), fatigue due to guarding crops (84.56%) in the night and being vigilant (89.47%) were also reported. Opportunity loss was reported to be lower than expected. Attitudes of smallholders were found to be influenced by age, level of education, and past experience of property damage. These results can help support management recommendations to promote human-elephant coexistence for the agriculture sector in Peninsular Malaysia, such as the development of smallholder insurance scheme and helping conservation agencies understand grievances and challenges faced by smallholders in implementing conflict mitigation measures.
... The Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is an endangered species that is threatened by habitat degradation, poaching for ivory, and especially by conflicts with people (such as house damage, crop raiding, and human death and injury caused by elephants), which makes it challenging to gather support from the local community to conserve this species [15][16][17][18][19]. They are scattered among 13 range countries in Asia and occupy only 5% of their original habitat range [20]. India harbors 60% of the current Asian elephant population, but 70% of elephant habitats in India have been disturbed by escalating anthropogenic pressures, such as rising human population, economic development, agriculture, logging, and livestock raising [21,22]. ...
... Then, we categorized each cell to make a daily presence-absence matrix, where "1" (presence) was assigned if the grid cell has aggregated observed locations, otherwise "0" (absence) was assigned. Moreover, we ensured that the size of each grid cell was appropriate enough and less than the minimum home range (~100 km 2 ) of Asian elephants [20,103]. The number of repeated observations per grid cell ranged from 4-71. ...
Article
Full-text available
Land development has impacted natural landforms extensively, causing a decline in resources and negative consequences to elephant populations, habitats, and gene flow. Often, elephants seek to fulfill basic needs by wandering into nearby human communities, which leads to human–elephant conflict (HEC), a serious threat to conserving this endangered species. Understanding elephant space use and connectivity among their habitats can offset barriers to ecological flow among fragmented populations. We focused on the Keonjhar Forest Division in Eastern India, where HEC has resulted in the deaths of ~300 people and several hundred elephants, and damaged ~4100 houses and ~12,700 acres of cropland between 2001 and 2018. Our objectives were to (1) analyze elephant space use based on their occupancy; (2) map connectivity by considering the land structure and HEC occurrences; (3) assess the quality of mapped connectivity and identify potential bottlenecks. We found that (1) the study area has the potential to sustain a significant elephant population by providing safe connectivity; (2) variables like forests, precipitation, rural built-up areas, cropland, and transportation networks were responsible for predicting elephant presence (0.407, SE = 0.098); (3) five habitat cores, interconnected by seven corridors were identified, of which three habitat cores were vital for maintaining connectivity; (4) landscape features, such as cropland, rural built-up, mining, and transportation networks created bottlenecks that could funnel elephant movement. Our findings also indicate that overlooking HEC in connectivity assessments could lead to overestimation of functionality. The study outcomes can be utilized as a preliminary tool for decision making and early planning during development projects.
... It is an umbrella species in tropical and subtropical forests of Asia and has a strong cultural role in various Asian societies (Jadhav & Barua, 2012;Menon et al., 1996;Sukumar, 2003;Vasudev et al., 2020). Once widely distributed in Asia, elephants are now confined to ca. 5% of their historical range in highly fragmented landscapes (Sukumar, 2006). In addition, the rapid development of linear infrastructures including railways, highways, electric transmission lines and irrigation canals cause further obstruction to elephant movement. ...
... However, increasing habitat fragmentation brings them in frequent confrontation with humans. As a result, human-elephant conflict (HEC) is escalating and has become a prominent cause of elephant population decline (Sukumar, 2006). Attack on humans by elephants is the extreme form of HEC. ...
Article
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Attacks on humans by Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is an extreme form of human-elephant conflict. It is a serious issue in southern lowland Nepal where elephant-related human fatalities are higher than other wildlife. Detailed understanding of elephant attacks on humans in Nepal is still lacking, hindering to devising appropriate strategies for human-elephant conflict mitigation. This study documented spatiotemporal pattern of elephant attacks on humans, factors associated with the attacks, and human/elephant behavior contributing to deaths of victims when attacked. We compiled all the documented incidences of elephant attacks on humans in Nepal for last 20 years across Terai and Chure region of Nepal. We also visited and interviewed 412 victim families (274 fatalities and 138 injuries) on elephant attacks. Majority of the victims were males (87.86%) and had low level of education. One fourth of the elephant attacks occurred while chasing the elephants. Solitary bulls or group of subadult males were involved in most of the attack. We found higher number of attacks outside the protected area. People who were drunk and chasing elephants using firecrackers were more vulnerable to the fatalities. In contrast, chasing elephants using fire was negatively associated with the fatalities. Elephant attacks were concentrated in proximity of forests primarily affecting the socioeconomically marginalized communities. Integrated settlement, safe housing for margin-alized community, and community grain house in the settlement should be promoted to reduce the confrontation between elephants and humans in entire landscape for their long-term survival.
... 21 The Asian elephant, perhaps-along with the Bengal tiger-the most emblematic species of Asia, has disappeared from approximately 95% of its historical range. 22 These are just a few examples of Asian species at risk of being lost forever. ...
... Currently, either laws or guidelines regarding wildlife safeguards with respect to roads are prevalent in the most countries (21), followed by rails (17), and then power lines (14). Laws or guidelines that include provisions requiring wildlife safeguards are also prevalent within the majority of Asian countries (22), providing an important starting point for future provisions that focus specifically on safeguarding wildlife from the impacts of LI. When providing a loan, IFIs typically require compliance with their own safeguard policy, or they default to the policy of the borrowing country. ...
Technical Report
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Many authors contributed to this report.
... 21 The Asian elephant, perhaps-along with the Bengal tiger-the most emblematic species of Asia, has disappeared from approximately 95% of its historical range. 22 These are just a few examples of Asian species at risk of being lost forever. ...
... Currently, either laws or guidelines regarding wildlife safeguards with respect to roads are prevalent in the most countries (21), followed by rails (17), and then power lines (14). Laws or guidelines that include provisions requiring wildlife safeguards are also prevalent within the majority of Asian countries (22), providing an important starting point for future provisions that focus specifically on safeguarding wildlife from the impacts of LI. When providing a loan, IFIs typically require compliance with their own safeguard policy, or they default to the policy of the borrowing country. ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
USAID launched an assessment of the capacity of Asian countries to develop wildlife-friendly linear infrastructure (LI), focused on roads, railways, and electric power lines. This 14-month project sought to understand the challenges and barriers that slow the adoption and implementation of safeguards that protect Asia’s diverse wildlife species and their critical habitats from the region’s rapidly expanding LI. Additionally, the program developed training materials and delivered a series of capacity-building workshops.
... In India, PAs encompass only 22% of elephant habitat, whereas the remaining habitats include highly fragmented forests and agricultural areas (Sukumar, 2006). Large and contiguously forested areas support only 30% of India's elephant populations, whereas the rest are distributed in smaller groups across fragmented landscapes (MoEF, 2010;Naha et al., 2019;Williams et al., 2020). ...
... The intrusion of elephants into human settlements and irrigated croplands in search of water and forage is now common in these regions (Sukumar, 2006). This could at least in part explain the importance of water sources to HEC incidents. ...
Article
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The global effort to protect megaherbivore populations is largely dependent on how human-wildlife conflict is identified, prioritized, and remedied. We examined the socio-ecological and landscape-scale factors determining spatial patterns of human-megaherbivore (Asian elephant Elephas maximus and gaur Bos gaurus) interactions across sixteen Forest Divisions in Tamil Nadu, India. Using a systematic grid-based design, we conducted questionnaire-based surveys of 1460 households at the human-wildlife interface adjacent to Protected Areas, Reserve Forest and Fringe Areas. We specifically collected information on elephant and gaur conflict incidents (e. g., human death/injuries, property damage, and crop-raiding), cropland type, extent of crop area and area lost to crop-raiding, from each household. We found that human-elephant conflict increased with percentage of crop cover, diversity of major and minor crops grown, proximity to water source, flat terrain, and lower rates of precipitation. Human-gaur conflict was greatest with a high diversity of major crops, proximity to water source, moderate precipitation, and more undulating terrain. We identified ca. 7900 km 2 hotspot area of contiguous high-intensity elephant conflict. For gaur, we identified high-frequency conflict hotspot areas covering ca. 625 km 2 , which were patchily distributed, highly localised, and attributed mostly to the recent changing land-use patterns. Our findings will help policymakers and park managers in developing landscape-scale human-wildlife conflict mitigation plans in the identified conflict hotspots.
... In this study, the rate of absorption and peak concentration of acyclovir after IV administration were markedly greater than those after PO administration, a finding that has also been reported in the horse (Bentz et al., 2006;Garre et al., 2007;Wilkins et al., 2005). Elephants are monogastric herbivors with hindgut fermentation and have a short gastrointestinal tract compared to other herbivorous species (Sukumar, 2006), which can contribute to challenges in giving medications via a PO route. Moreover, elephants exhibit 5.87 ± 0.74 8.74 ± 2.47 % Bioavailability 6.03* ± 0.87 C max , peak plasma concentration; T max , time to reach peak plasma; AUC 0-t , total area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time 0-48 h; AUC 0-inf , total area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to infinity; K el , elimination rate constant; Cl, total clearance; V d(ss) , steady-state volume of distribution; MRT, mean residence time; MAT, mean absorption time. ...
... a low gut digestibility, only about 40 -50% compared to other mammals (Loehlein et al., 2003;Sukumar, 2006). Therefore, elephants have to consume 1.5 -2% of their body weight in food daily, and spend up to 80% of the day feeding (Sukumar, 2003). ...
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A therapeutic regimen that includes antiviral drugs is critical for the survival of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) calves infected with elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus hemorrhagic disease (EEHV-HD), with acyclovir showing considerable promise. The purpose of this study was to determine the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of acyclovir following intravenous (IV) and oral (PO) administration in Asian elephants. A single dose of acyclovir (15 mg/kg, IV or 45 mg/kg, PO) was administered to four healthy elephant calves, with a minimum 2-week washout period between treatments. Serial plasma samples were collected after each injection for acyclovir analysis using a validated liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) technique. Maximum plasma acyclovir concentrations were 27.02 ± 6.79 µg/mL at 0.94 ± 0.31 h after IV administration, and 1.45 ± 0.20 µg/mL at 3.00 ± 0.70 h after PO administration. The half-life of the elimination phase (T1/2) was 5.84 ± 0.74 and 8.74 ± 2.47 h after IV and PO administration, respectively. After IV administration, acyclovir concentrations were higher than the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of those found for herpes simplex virus (HSV) 1 and 2 in humans, and equid alpha herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) for at least 12 h. By contrast, the bioavailability of oral administration was low, only 6.03 ± 0.87%, so higher doses by that route likely are needed to be effective. Due to the high concentration of plasma acyclovir after IV administration, the dose may need to be adjusted to prevent any negative side effects.
... The Asiatic Elephant, once widely distributed from Tigris-Euphrates in West Asia eastward through Persia into the Indian sub-continent, South and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and up to North China, is now facing tremendous challenges due to ever increasing human-elephant conflict (HEC), poaching and habitat loss in all the range countries of the world (Leimgruber et al., 2003;Sukumar, 2003Sukumar, , 2006Hedges, 2006;Sukumar et al., 2016; IUCN/SSC AsESG 2017; Menon et al., 2017). Unfortunately, they are now highly scattered in distribution in Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia and some Asian Islands-Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia and survive in only 5% of their historical range (Sukumar, 2003(Sukumar, , 2006. ...
... The Asiatic Elephant, once widely distributed from Tigris-Euphrates in West Asia eastward through Persia into the Indian sub-continent, South and Southeast Asia including Sri Lanka, Java, Sumatra, Borneo and up to North China, is now facing tremendous challenges due to ever increasing human-elephant conflict (HEC), poaching and habitat loss in all the range countries of the world (Leimgruber et al., 2003;Sukumar, 2003Sukumar, , 2006Hedges, 2006;Sukumar et al., 2016; IUCN/SSC AsESG 2017; Menon et al., 2017). Unfortunately, they are now highly scattered in distribution in Indian Subcontinent, South East Asia and some Asian Islands-Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Malaysia and survive in only 5% of their historical range (Sukumar, 2003(Sukumar, , 2006. In India, there are 27,312 Asiatic elephants throughout the country (MoEFCC 2017). ...
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Large scale destruction of the forest along with encroachments has resulted in higher incidences of human-elephant conflict in Northeast India. People living in proximity to the forests are the worst victim. A study was carried out during 2018–19 to find out the people’s perception on human-elephant conflict in 10 selected fringe villages of the Rani-Garbhanga area of Assam, India. A questionnaire was prepared covering different parameters on human-elephant conflict (HEC). Study found that elephants were attracted the most by paddy, followed by home garden vegetables, stored grain, country liquor, and mud chulla (mud-oven used in village kitchens). An increasing trend of conflict over the period was observed where the majority of the respondents experienced significant crop damage annually. Most of the respondents were not very happy with the compensation practices for crop loss through ex-gratia payment from the government agencies which is often delayed or not paid at all. This delay or non-payment of ex-gratia has resulted in intensifying negative attitudes towards elephant and thus one-third of the total people of the area consider elephants as enemies, and do not vouch for their conservation. An immediate conservation initiative is suggested to conserve Asiatic elephants of this region.
... It is an umbrella species in tropical and subtropical forests of Asia and has a strong cultural role in various Asian societies (Jadhav & Barua, 2012;Menon et al., 1996;Sukumar, 2003;Vasudev et al., 2020). Once widely distributed in Asia, elephants are now confined to ca. 5% of their historical range in highly fragmented landscapes (Sukumar, 2006). In addition, the rapid development of linear infrastructures including railways, highways, electric transmission lines and irrigation canals cause further obstruction to elephant movement. ...
... However, increasing habitat fragmentation brings them in frequent confrontation with humans. As a result, human-elephant conflict (HEC) is escalating and has become a prominent cause of elephant population decline (Sukumar, 2006). Attack on humans by elephants is the extreme form of HEC. ...
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Attacks on humans by Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is an extreme form of human-elephant conflict. It is a serious issue in southern lowland Nepal where elephant-related human fatalities are higher than other wildlife. Detailed understanding of elephant attacks on humans in Nepal is still lacking, hindering to devising appropriate strategies for human-elephant conflict mitigation. This study documented spatiotemporal pattern of elephant attacks on humans, factors associated with the attacks, and human/elephant behavior contributing to deaths of victims when attacked. We compiled all the documented incidences of elephant attacks on humans in Nepal for last 20 years across Terai and Chure region of Nepal. We also visited and interviewed 412 victim families (274 fatalities and 138 injuries) on elephant attacks. Majority of the victims were males (87.86%) and had low level of education. One fourth of the elephant attacks occurred while chasing the elephants. Solitary bulls or group of subadult males were involved in most of the attack. We found higher number of attacks outside the protected area. People who were drunk and chasing elephants using firecrackers were more vulnerable to the fatalities. In contrast, chasing elephants using fire was negatively associated with the fatalities. Elephant attacks were concentrated in proximity of forests primarily affecting the socioeconomically marginalized communities. Integrated settlement, safe housing for margin-alized community, and community grain house in the settlement should be promoted to reduce the confrontation between elephants and humans in entire landscape for their long-term survival.
... It is an umbrella species in tropical and subtropical forests of Asia and has a strong cultural role in various Asian societies (Jadhav & Barua, 2012;Menon et al., 1996;Sukumar, 2003;Vasudev et al., 2020). Once widely distributed in Asia, elephants are now confined to ca. 5% of their historical range in highly fragmented landscapes (Sukumar, 2006). In addition, the rapid development of linear infrastructures including railways, highways, electric transmission lines and irrigation canals cause further obstruction to elephant movement. ...
... However, increasing habitat fragmentation brings them in frequent confrontation with humans. As a result, human-elephant conflict (HEC) is escalating and has become a prominent cause of elephant population decline (Sukumar, 2006). Attack on humans by elephants is the extreme form of HEC. ...
Article
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Attacks on humans by Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is an extreme form of human-elephant conflict. It is a serious issue in southern lowland Nepal where elephant-related human fatalities are higher than other wildlife. Detailed understanding of elephant attacks on humans in Nepal is still lacking, hindering to devising appropriate strategies for human-elephant conflict mitigation. This study documented spatiotemporal pattern of elephant attacks on humans, factors associated with the attacks, and human/elephant behavior contributing to deaths of victims when attacked. We compiled all the documented incidences of elephant attacks on humans in Nepal for last 20 years across Terai and Chure region of Nepal. We also visited and interviewed 412 victim families (274 fatalities and 138 injuries) on elephant attacks. Majority of the victims were males (87.86%) and had low level of education. One fourth of the elephant attacks occurred while chasing the elephants. Solitary bulls or group of subadult males were involved in most of the attack. We found higher number of attacks outside the protected area. People who were drunk and chasing elephants using firecrackers were more vulnerable to the fatalities. In contrast, chasing elephants using fire was negatively associated with the fatalities. Elephant attacks were concentrated in proximity of forests primarily affecting the socioeconomically marginalized communities. Integrated settlement, safe housing for margin-alized community, and community grain house in the settlement should be promoted to reduce the confrontation between elephants and humans in entire landscape for their long-term survival.
... In India, PAs encompass only 22% of elephant habitat, whereas the remaining habitats include highly fragmented forests and agricultural areas (Sukumar, 2006). Large and contiguously forested areas support only 30% of India's elephant populations, whereas the rest are distributed in smaller groups across fragmented landscapes (MoEF, 2010;Naha et al., 2019;Williams et al., 2020). ...
... The intrusion of elephants into human settlements and irrigated croplands in search of water and forage is now common in these regions (Sukumar, 2006). This could at least in part explain the importance of water sources to HEC incidents. ...
... Instead, fragmentation of habitats due to burgeoning human populations are partially to blame for an increase in conflicts (AESRM, 2017;Menon & Tewari, 2019). Human villages are forcing elephants into narrower and narrower corridors, or completely cutting off habitats from one another (AsERSM 2017;Menon and Tiwari 2019;Sukumar 2006). This fragmentation forces elephant immigrants not just across national borders, but into human-dominated landscapes. ...
... Rising human populations are largely to blame for this increase in elephant-human conflict (AsERSM 2017;Menon and Tiwari 2019;Sukumar 2006), but academics seem hesitant to address the issue. Criticising social issues such as rapid human population growth in developing countries is often avoided by authors from the global north, perhaps out of the fear of being labelled a neo-colonialist or even a racist (Kopnina 2017, 226). ...
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The movement of otherthanhuman-animals (henceforth OTHA) across human-defined borders are often categorised depending upon human-assigned categories such as ‘invasive’, ‘introduced’, ‘non-native’ or ‘migrating’. However, there is a paucity of literature categorising OTHAs, from a posthuman, anthrozoological view, as immigrants. This paper examines, through the dual lenses of posthumanism and anthrozoology, five scenarios for OTHA immigrants. First, how pigs became pawns in America’s New World, due to the continued unwillingness of humans to see the agency of OTHAs; secondly, what does the action of co-immigrating with our companion-animals say about our relationships with the accompanying OTHA? Next, whether the UK, a self-declared ‘nation of animal lovers’ is suffering from zoo-xenophobia, a form of xenophobia towards immigrant dogs? Then, an examination of elephant-human interactions in Nepal across Nepalese-Indian borders seems to indicate that tensions should decrease as the elephant immigrant population declines, but is not the case. Finally, how zoo-animal immigration, means an OTHA’s belonging to a zoological collection is often transitory in nature and so not afforded citizenship. Each case discusses the fluidity of OTHA immigrant membership of a human-constructed category, which may waiver as the OTHA is able to fulfill human needs or become an unwitting transgressor of social and political desires, fears and conflicts.
... Elephants spatial movement were in groups on natural conditions in and around forest areas (Sukumar, 2006;Vanitha et al., 2011). Elephants move from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu by passing through farming lands, human living areas and national highway Salem to Bangalore leading to Human Elephant Conflicts (HEC). ...
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During a 3 year examination of object movement tracking in Hosur forest border areas found, different elephant detection methods were used to track the movement. In this paper, problems such as Human–Elephant Conflicts (HEC), poaching and crop raiding were evaluated due to elephant movement. By mapping the elephant movement, it is found that elephant movements were seasonal and used similar paths for movements. In the proposed approach, elephant movement from the forest areas to the nearby villages was mapped and possible mitigation measures to overcome the human elephant conflicts were discussed. A survey observation work is made in Hosur forest areas during 1st April 2020 to 30th June 2020 to understand the elephant movement and spatial distribution. Real time data collection made from the villages around the forest areas, by making field visits. Spatial autocorrelation techniques are used in analyzing the spatial distribution and movement pattern of elephants. ArcGIS software and Getis-Ord Gi* were used to determine the spatial distribution of elephant movement. As a result, it is found that elephant movements were seasonal based such as rainfall decline in other part of forest areas and elephants tends to migrate occasionally. In order to overcome the problems of elephant movement into the human living areas, mitigation measures described has to be implemented.
... The low performance of the digestive process in elephants, which are post-gastric herbivores, leaves a substantial mass of non-processed plant residues in their faeces (according to Sukumar [119], only 40-50% of the forage consumed by Elephas maximus is actually digested), giving them there very fibrous texture. ...
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Background Despite a widespread aversion towards faeces and urine, animal excreta are used in traditional medicine in many countries since centuries, but records are scattered and few therapeutic uses have been accurately documented while in the current context of emerging zoonoses such records may be of major interest. Methodology In this study, we investigated the therapeutic uses that mahouts in Xayaboury province, Lao PDR make of elephant urine and faeces as well as of the brood chamber that beetles ( Heliocopris dominus ) fashion from elephant dung. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with mahouts on elephant diet, health problems and responses to disease, andwhether they use elephant products. Data were supplemented by interviews with traditional healers. Results Seven respondents reported the use of elephant urine in ethnoveterinary care for elephants and in human medicine in case of diabetes and otitis. 25 respondents reported therapeutic use of elephant faeces (EF) and elephant dung beetle brood chambers. The major indications are gastrointestinal and skin problems. Macerations or decoctions are drunk or used externally as a lotion. The mahouts attribute the therapeutic effectiveness of EFs to their content which includes the remains of many species from the elephant diet which they consider to be medicinal. Discussion The indications of these uses are consistent with pharmacological and clinical studies highlighting the properties of different animals’ urine and faeces and their curative potential tested in vivo. The acknowledgement by the mahouts of medicinal properties of elephant faecal bolus contrasts with the rare justifications of animal material use recorded in zootherapeutic studies, which falls within the symbolic domain. However, numerous studies highlight the preponderant role of the microbiota in physiological processes, raising the hypothesis of a curative action of EF, by rebalancing the user’s microbiota. Conclusion The therapeutic uses of EF preparations despite their possible curative properties are a potential source of zoonotic transmission from elephants to humans. In the current context of globalisation of trade which favours the emergence of zoonoses and in relation with the issue of One Health, it becomes crucial to further document the zootherapeutic practices to prevent emerging diseases. As elephants and local related ethnoethological knowledge are threatened, documenting them is urgent to contribute to their preservation.
... Further, our results allow us to improve not only breeding programs, but also the handling of animals in captivity and the safety of the personnel responsible for their care. Male Asian elephants in musth are very dangerous animals that put people's lives at risk [51]. For this reason, in recent years, contraceptive methods have been tried to control both the birth rate of the animals and the aggressive manifestations during the musth period, with gonadotropin releasing factor (GnRH) analogue vaccines [52]. ...
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The measurement of stress and reproductive hormones in wild animal species by non-invasive methods is of special interest. To assess whether the adrenal and gonadal hormones show annual variations in male Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and to evaluate whether there is any influence of climatic variables on hormonal secretion, fecal samples were taken from a herd of 7 Asian elephants over a 14-month period to subsequently determine the concentrations of testosterone (T), androstenedione (A4), and cortisol (C) by a validated immunoassay technique. Data referring to three climatic variables in the place and period of study were collected, namely monthly mean values of temperature, humidity and rainfall. Levels of T and A4 showed two major increases in July (T: 1088.35 ± 131.04 ng/g; A4: 480.40 ± 50.86 ng/g) and October (T: 825.09 ± 31.60 ng/g; A4: 319.96 ± 32.69 ng/g) (p < 0.05). Our results show a secretion of fecal androgens dependent on temperature (T and A4), and humidity (T). Male musth was detected during the initial increases of T and A4 levels. The highest concentrations of C were observed in September (156.67 ± 60.89 ng/g) (p < 0.05), probably due to the stressful fights that occurred during the musth period. The observed results of the fecal levels of T, A4 and C were similar to those obtained by invasive methods. In conclusion, fecal secretion of the three hormones in these captive male Asian elephants showed variations related in some cases to different weather factors.
... These mega-herbivores forage and feed for 12 to 18 hours a day (Gray and Phan, 2011) and consume over 100 species of plants (Daniel, 1998). Conversely, they are nomadic and move long distances (Menon et al., 2017;Sukumar, 2006). While the average home range of an elephant herd in South India is 651 km 2 , elephants in BNP have to make do with only 200 km 2 of forested land. ...
Chapter
India's forest landscapes are reeling under severe demographic and developmental pressures. These tensions are particularly pronounced in peri-urban regions that are marked by rapid land use change, weak and overlapping institutions and competing claims on land. This paper examines how rapid urbanization influences place-making and the practice of forest management in Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), India. BNP is an elephant corridor traversing through a human-dominated landscape bordering the megacity of Bangalore. Straying of elephants and leopards into village settlements has led to significant destruction of crops and life. Unregulated real-estate development driven by a boom in the information technology (IT) industry, combined with granite quarries that operate illegally around BNP have altered the characteristics of the surrounding villages. These processes have revealed or created newer forms of inequity that challenge forest institutions to respond ingeniously. Applying concepts from critical institutionalism and ethnography, our research aims to inform policy efforts to incorporate pluralism in sustainable forest management and rural development. Through data collected over 16 months via observation, interviews, and oral histories we examine the workings of forest management institutions in everyday social life. We map specific modes through which four marginalized agents navigate institutional plurality and intersect with each other in the peri-urban forest landscape. The results illustrate the potency of ‘institutional bricolage’, wherein agents renegotiate their space in the landscape by actively drawing from available resources to ensure workable institutional arrangements, challenging government efforts to conserve and manage ecosystems.
... Asian elephants are confined to 5% of the historic elephant range 24 . Elephants use large areas to meet their dietary and reproductive requirements 25,26 . Their home range size varies according to the forage OPEN availability and nature of the habitat 27-29 . ...
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Forest cover is the primary determinant of elephant distribution, thus, understanding forest loss and fragmentation is crucial for elephant conservation. We assessed deforestation and patterns of forest fragmentation between 1930 and 2020 in Chure Terai Madhesh Lanscape (CTML) which covers the entire elephant range in Nepal. Forest cover maps and fragmentation matrices were generated using multi-source data (Topographic maps and Landsat satellite images of 1930, 1975, 2000, and 2020) and spatiotemporal change was quantified. At present, 19,069 km 2 forest cover in CTML is available as the elephant habitat in Nepal. Overall, 21.5% of elephant habitat was lost between 1930 and 2020, with a larger (12.3%) forest cover loss between 1930 and 1975. Area of the large forests (Core 3) has decreased by 43.08% whereas smaller patches (Core 2, Core 1, edge and patch forests) has increased multifold between 1930 and 2020. The continued habitat loss and fragmentation probably fragmented elephant populations during the last century and made them insular with long-term ramifications for elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict. Given the substantial loss in forest cover and high levels of fragmentation, improving the resilience of elephant populations in Nepal would urgently require habitat and corridor restoration to enable the movement of elephants. Deforestation and conversion of natural areas into human use impacts the earth's ecosystems and functions, and threatens biodiversity 1, 2. The population of many wildlife species are declining globally, and about a million species are under threat of extinction primarily due to habitat loss/degradation, overexploitation, climate change, illegal wildlife trade, direct persecution, and conflict with humans 3-5. Fragmentation is a significant factor leading to the loss of biodiversity in forested landscapes 6. Habitat fragmentation affects ecological patterns and processes by increasing the number of forest patches, reducing the patch size, interrupting connectivity within the ecological network 7-9 , and impacting several species 10. Habitat fragmentation could alter animal communities and trigger cascading effects on plants and ecosystem functions, including their carbon storage potential 11-13. Continued fragmentation can lead to microclimatic changes in the edges, reduced core habitat, and eases the establishment of invasive species towards the forest interiors 14, 15. Effects of fragmentation on wide ranging large mammals like elephants is more severe and increases the extinction risks due to their needs for large and intact habitats 16-18. With the current rise in anthropogenic impacts and loss of wildlife habitats, shared heterogenous landscapes around protected areas have immense potential for long term conservation of large mammals 19, 20. Elephants are the largest living terrestrial mammals facing typical threats of large mammals such as habitat loss, poaching and conflict with communities 21. The increase in human population and expansion of agriculture had led to habitat loss and fragmentation, resulting in a significant decline in elephant populations across Asia and Africa 22-24. Asian elephants are confined to 5% of the historic elephant range 24. Elephants use large areas to meet their dietary and reproductive requirements 25, 26. Their home range size varies according to the forage OPEN
... Asian elephants are confined to 5% of the historic elephant range 24 . Elephants use large areas to meet their dietary and reproductive requirements 25,26 . Their home range size varies according to the forage OPEN availability and nature of the habitat 27-29 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Forest cover is the primary determinant of elephant distribution, thus, understanding forest loss and fragmentation is crucial for elephant conservation. We assessed deforestation and patterns of forest fragmentation between 1930 and 2020 in Chure Terai Madhesh Lanscape (CTML) which covers the entire elephant range in Nepal. Forest cover maps and fragmentation matrices were generated using multi-source data (Topographic maps and Landsat satellite images of 1930, 1975, 2000, and 2020) and spatiotemporal change was quantified. At present, 19,069 km 2 forest cover in CTML is available as the elephant habitat in Nepal. Overall, 21.5% of elephant habitat was lost between 1930 and 2020, with a larger (12.3%) forest cover loss between 1930 and 1975. Area of the large forests (Core 3) has decreased by 43.08% whereas smaller patches (Core 2, Core 1, edge and patch forests) has increased multifold between 1930 and 2020. The continued habitat loss and fragmentation probably fragmented elephant populations during the last century and made them insular with long-term ramifications for elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict. Given the substantial loss in forest cover and high levels of fragmentation, improving the resilience of elephant populations in Nepal would urgently require habitat and corridor restoration to enable the movement of elephants.
... The overall working experience of the calling mahout did not affect the success rate of elephants in the control task or the novel surface task. The results have relevance for improving the work safety and welfare of captive elephants in free contact systems worldwide, that constitute > 20% of remaining Asian elephants 36,37 , as well as highlighting the importance of longer relationships between working dyads in promoting trust particularly in novel situations for other working species. The novel surface proved to be an effective stimulus to initiate variation in the elephants' responses to simple commands. ...
Article
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Working animals spend hours each day in close contact with humans and require training to understand commands and fulfil specific tasks. However, factors driving cooperation between humans and animals are still unclear, and novel situations may present challenges that have been little-studied to-date. We investigated factors driving cooperation between humans and animals in a working context through behavioural experiments with 52 working semi-captive Asian elephants. Human-managed Asian elephants constitute approximately a third of the remaining Asian elephants in the world, the majority of which live in their range countries working alongside traditional handlers. We investigated how the familiarity and experience of the handler as well as the elephant’s age and sex affected their responses when asked to perform a basic task and to cross a novel surface. The results highlighted that when novelty is involved in a working context, an elephant’s relationship length with their handler can affect their cooperation: elephants who had worked with their handler for over a year were more willing to cross the novel surface than those who had a shorter relationship with their handler. Older animals also tended to refuse to walk on the novel surface more but the sex did not affect their responses. Our study contributes much needed knowledge on human-working animal relationships which should be considered when adjusting training methods and working habits.
... Asian elephants are con ned to 5% of the historic elephant range 20 . Elephants use large areas to meet their dietary and reproductive requirements 21,22 . Their home range size varies according to the forage availability and nature of the habitat 23-25 . ...
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Forest cover is the primary determinant of elephant distribution, thus, understanding forest loss and fragmentation is crucial for elephant conservation. We assessed deforestation and patterns of forest fragmentation during 1930–2020 in Chure Terai Madhesh Lanscape (CTML) which covers the entire elephant range in Nepal. Forest cover maps and fragmentation matrices were generated using multi-source data (Topographic maps and Landsat images of 1930, 1975, 2000, and 2020) and spatiotemporal changes was quantified. Forest cover within the elephant range was 19,069 km ² . Overall, 21.5% of elephant habitat was lost between 1930 to 2020, with a larger (12.3%) forest cover loss between 1930 & 1975. Area of the large forests (Core 3) in CTML has decreased by 43.08% whereas smaller patches (Core 2, Core 1, edge and patch forests) has increased multifold during 1930–2020. The continued habitat loss and fragmentation probably fragmented elephant populations during the last century and made them insular with long-term ramifications for elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict. Given the substantial loss in forest cover and high levels of fragmentation, improving the resilience of elephant habitats in Nepal would urgently require habitat and corridor restoration to enable the movement of elephants.
... The frequency and intensity of crop raids by elephants is also likely to be connected to farmers' crop calendars. In general, more crop raids are recorded as crops mature for harvesting (Chen et al., 2016;Ekanayaka et al., 2011;Sukumar, 2006;Thaufeek et al., 2014;Webber et al., 2011). During this period, property damage incidents might further increase as elephants may interfere with stored food reserves. ...
Article
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Human–elephant conflict (HEC) is a key environmental issue in number of Asian countries, including Sri Lanka. Incidents of HEC have significantly increased in Sri Lanka between 1991 and 2018, with 1734 human deaths reported in this period (281% increase), 4837 elephant deaths (1172% increase), 1053 human injuries (140% increase) and more than 23,000 property damage reports (1406% increase). In this study we present a Sri Lanka wide analysis to explore the role of land use and land cover change (LULCC) in relation to HEC, using official government data and a land cover change dataset (1993–2018) recently developed by the authors using satellite imagery from the Landsat archive. We investigated rates of HEC over time and compared these to rates of LULCC over the same period. We also present spatial analytics of HEC and LULCC, as well as determining hotspots of HEC and LULCC using a kernel density estimator. Annual HEC incidents were found to broadly increase in line with land use change events (r = 0.43, p < 0.05). Human deaths, elephant deaths, human injuries and property damage hotspots show distinct spatial patterns: human deaths and injuries being more concentrated in the North West, Polonnaruwa and Ampara, wildlife regions; while elephant deaths are spread throughout the HEC region and property damage is high in the Central, Polonnaruwa Anuradhapura, North West, and Southern wildlife regions. We found a strong negative correlation between HEC location and distance to LULCC events. In total, 98% HEC occurred within 1 km of an area that experienced recent LULCC Since 2017, the primary HEC hotspots have shifted to the south and east of the country in concert with LULCC. These countrywide perspectives could help inform HEC mitigation strategies in Sri Lanka and other countries facing similar human-wildlife challenges.
... Moreover, elephants are less resilient to the effects of habitat fragmentation (Acharya, Paudel, Jnawali, Neupane & Köhl 2017) due to their larger body size, one of the few remaining mega-herbivores, and low intrinsic rate of population increase (Sukumar 1989). In Assam, human encroachment and deforestation in the elephant habitats owing to growing human populations have obstructed traditional migration routes and pushed elephants into shrinking habitat patches ( Generally, elevation influences the distribution of soil types, vegetation types and water availability which affecting the distribution and density of elephants (Sukumar 2006). Moreover, railway lines often built along the river courses, particularly in the hilly areas, where rivers provide low gradient corridors (Blanton & Marcus 2009). ...
Chapter
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This project analysis the safety of employees working in paper mills. The paper mill is a place where paper is manufactured by chemical processes. It is one of the most hazardous industries with respect to chemical hazards. Other hazards associated with paper mills are physical hazards and biological hazards. This project also gives necessary control measures to reduce or to eliminate hazards of paper mills. Pulp and paper manufacturing can also be very hazardous due to massive weights and falling, rolling, and/or sliding pulpwood loads. Workers may be struck or crushed by loads or suffer lacerations from the misuse of equipment, particularly when machines are used improperly or without proper safeguards. Environmental problems regarding the pulp and paper industry are not limited to high water consumption. Solid wastes including sludge generated from wastewater treatment plants and air emissions cause further problems, thus an effective disposal and treatment approach is essential.
... To effectively approach HEC with a more holistic understanding of biological and ecological drivers of HEC [35,36], we suggest prioritizing efforts that seek to develop our understanding of male elephant socioecology. At the same time that in-situ elephant populations are threatened, ex-situ Asian elephant populations (i.e., those bred and housed in human care, including in zoos, private ownership, elephant camps, and other similar parks and facilities) are critical to the longterm viability of the species [37,38]; approximately one-third of the remaining global Asian elephant population exists in human care [3,39]. While ex-situ elephant populations have been historically female-biased, the proportion of males in captive populations is now higher than ever and will only continue to increase with enhanced breeding success [40]. ...
Article
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Asian elephants are endangered, and the long-term viability of the species depends on integrative approaches to address the sustainability of in-situ and ex-situ populations. Growing evidence shows that male elephants exhibit extensive and flexible social behavior that rivals the complexity of that of females. Male elephant sociality is expected to change dramatically around the unique sexual state of musth. However, data related to male Asian elephant sociality is lacking. Here, we conducted complementary observations in Wasgamuwa National Park, Sri Lanka, and North American zoos of male Asian elephant social behavior. Age and musth status, along with other factors, were associated with variation in social behavior and group formation of males. In wild male elephants, both musth status and age impacted elephant associations within all-male and mixed-sex groups: non-musth elephants were generally sighted less often in mixed-sex groups as they aged, while the inverse occurred with musth elephants. Musth status interacted with age to predict the number of conspecifics with which a wild male elephant associated: younger males were observed with more females during non-musth (but the opposite was true during musth), and male elephants between 20 and 30 years were observed with the highest number of male conspecifics except during musth. Finally, we found variation in aggression, prosocial behavior, and submissive behavior was influenced by intrinsic (age and musth status) and extrinsic factors (group size and type) in similar ways in both populations; prosocial behavior was most common and was influenced by the number of conspecifics present (both populations), and age, group type, and musth status (zoo population), while aggression was rare, especially among older elephants. We suggest that longitudinal studies of this threatened species will be particularly helpful to promote the reproduction and conservation of Asian elephants in in-situ and ex-situ environments.
... The endangered Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) currently survive in only around five percent of their original habitat range [1][2][3] surrounded by 20% of the world's human population [4,5]. Deforestation has immensely degraded natural habitats, and less than 10% of the protected areas in the world are structurally connected [6,7], adversely affecting the dispersal of especially wide-ranging species and causing disruptions in the ecological processes. ...
Article
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The socio-economic aspects of the people who directly share space with elephants not only influence the occurrence of human-elephant conflict (HEC) but also shape their sentiments towards coexistence with elephants. The objectives of this paper are to (i) assess the demographic situation and map people’s sentiments towards elephants in the HEC hotspot villages of the Keonjhar forest division in India and (ii) rank the most suitable policy instruments and the urgency of mitigation strategies. The results indicated that cultivation and marginal agriculture were positively related with HEC incidences, whereas literacy and employment were negatively associated. Despite being severely affected by human–elephant conflict, many of the respondents (78%) in the HEC hotspot regions still had positive sentiments towards elephants. According to expert opinions, strengthening of laws regarding land use facilitation and interlinking conservation values to socio-cultural aspects need urgent implementation in order to balance infrastructural development and protection of ecosystems by enhancing community participation. Communal crop guarding, chilly-dung and honeybee fencing, accompanied by tracking and maintaining an elephant locational database are suggested as the HEC mitigation methods with highest urgency.
... Forage and water availability are critical for elephant survival [30]. In this study, the precipitation of coldest quarter was determined as the key bioclimatic variable. ...
Article
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Climate change and human activities have caused dramatic impacts on biodiversity. Although a number of international agreements or initiatives have been launched to mitigate the biodiversity loss, the erosion of terrestrial biome habitats is inevitable. Consequently, the identification of potential suitable habitats under climate change and human disturbance has become an urgent task of biodiversity conservation. In this study, we used the maximum entropy model (MaxEnt) to identify the current and potential future habitats of Asian elephants in South and Southeast Asia. We performed analyses for future projections with 17 scenarios using the present results as baseline. To optimize the modelling results, we delineated the core habitats by using the Core Mapper Tool and compared them with existing protected areas (PAs) through gap analysis. The results showed that the current total area of core habitats is 491,455 km2 in size and will be reduced to 332,544 km2 by 2090 under SSP585 (the shared socioeconomic pathway). The projection analysis under differential scenarios suggested that most of the core habitats in the current protected areas would remain stable and suitable for elephants in the future. However, the remaining 75.17% of the core habitats lay outside the current PAs, and finally we mapped approximately 219,545 km2 of suitable habitats as priority protected areas in the future. Although our model did not perform well in some regions, our analyses and findings still could provide useful references to the planning of protected areas and conservation of Asian elephant.
... At least 200 people and 100 elephants die every year from HEC (MoEF 2010). In addition, almost 500,000 households are affected by crop depredation (Sukumar 2006). Despite the increasing conflict, farmers may have a positive attitude towards elephants, which could change unless the conflict is mitigated (Stone et al. 2019). ...
... Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is large herbivorous animal and adults can reach a weight of 5,000 kg. They are mega-herbivores that spend 12-18 h per day feeding, and their diet is composed of highly fibrous plant material from more than 110 plant species depending on availability and season (Ishwaran 1983;Sukumar 2006). In addition, Asian elephant is representative elongated hindgut herbivores, which lengthen gut fermentation times of indigestible plant polysaccharides (Clauss et al. 2016). ...
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Asian elephant is large herbivorous animal with elongated hindgut. To explore fecal microbial community composition with various ages, sex and diets, and their role in plant biomass degrading and nutrition conversation. We generated 119 Gb by metagenome sequencing from 10 different individual feces and identified 5.3 million non-redundant genes. The comprehensive analysis established that the Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes and Proteobacteria constituted the most dominant phyla in overall fecal samples. In different individuals, the alpha diversity of the fecal microbiota in female was lower than male, and the alpha diversity of the fecal microbiota in older was higher than younger, and the fecal microbial diversity was the most complex in wild elephant. But the predominant population compositions were similar to each other. Moreover, the newborn infant elephant feces assembled and maintained a diverse but host-specific fecal microbial population. The discovery speculated that Asian elephant maybe have start to building microbial populations before birth. Meanwhile, these results illustrated that host phylogeny, diets, ages and sex are significant factors for fecal microbial community composition. Therefore, we put forward the process of Asian elephant fecal microbial community composition that the dominant populations were built first under the guidance of phylogeny, and then shaped gradually a unique and flexible gut microbial community structure under the influences of diet, age and sex. This study found also that the Bacteroidetes were presumably the main drivers of plant fiber-degradation. A large of secondary metabolite biosynthetic gene clusters, and genes related to enediyne biosynthesis were found and showed that the Asian elephant fecal microbiome harbored a diverse and abundant genetic resource. A picture of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) reservoirs of fecal microbiota in Asian elephants was provided. Surprisingly, there was such wide range of ARGs in newborn infant elephant. Further strengthening our speculation that the fetus of Asian elephant has colonized prototypical fecal microbiota before birth. However, it is necessary to point out that the data give a first inside into the gut microbiota of Asian elephants but too few individuals were studied to draw general conclusions for differences among wild and captured elephants, female and male or different ages. Further studies are required. Additionally, the cultured actinomycetes from Asian elephant feces also were investigated, which the feces of Asian elephants could be an important source of actinomycetes.
... Northeast India is an important bastion of the Asian elephant, with almost one-fifth of the world's population of this mega-herbivore occurring in this region (Choudhury 2004;Sukumar 2006). About one-tenth of these are in Assam, where in 2017 nearly 12,600 km 2 of forest habitat was available (Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change 2019) at preferred elevations of up to 1,000 m (Choudhury 1999) for approximately 5,700 elephants (Project Elephant Division 2017). ...
... Human-wildlife conflicts are already occurring in high-mountain protected areas due to resource competition between humans and wildlife (Aryal et al., 2014). Climate change has a direct effect on elephants by reducing forage and water availability (Sukumar, 2006). A long-term study conducted between 1965 and 2000 in Myanmar, Mumby et al. (2013) observed increased mortality in calves and young elephants with an average monthly temperature increase of ~1ºC. ...
Technical Report
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The ultimate aim of Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) of Forest Biodiversity and Watershed Management is to improve climate-vulnerable people and populations, geographical areas, physical infrastructure, and ecosystems' adaptive ability and resilience. Medium and longterm adaptation activities will be incorporated into the development planning process at the state, regional, and local levels as a result of this process. This assessment's main goal is to help Nepal's NAP mechanism evaluate climate-related hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities, as well as define realistic adaptation options at the sectoral, provincial, and national levels.
... The Asian elephants live in the tropical rainforests and monsoon forests in Asian countries namely, Sri Lanka, Bengal, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and China. Kempf and Santiapillai (2000), Sukumar, (2006), and Sukumar (1998) have done a study on the distribution of elephant population in the world. Consequently, the biggest population of Asian elephants has been found in India and the number is recorded as"25000 -27000 and Sri Lanka is in the second place. ...
Article
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The land area of Sri Lanka constitutes 65,610 sq. km with a considerable range of forest conservation zones that are prone to human-elephant conflict (HEC) that has led to various social, economic, and environmental issues. The main objective of this study is to identify the key issues in human-elephant conflict and propose viable solutions for them using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Two key HEC prone areas have been selected for this study, namely Kuda Bellankadawala and Kelegama Gramaniladari Divisions (GND) in the Thambuttegama Divisional Secretariat. Both primary and secondary data sources have been utilized in data collection and data were mainly derived from information sources, particularly published on HEC incidents reported in the key areas. Primary data were collected using PRA methods, such as resources map, seasonal map, problem tree, and risk quadrant. It was found out from the PRA survey that HEC incidents from Kuda Bellankadawala and Kelegama divisions account for 41% and 56% respectively. In terms of damage evaluation, 70% of incidents account for property damages while 25% account for damages to cultivations. According to the HEC risk value calculation, 165.85 and 100.17 risk values were found in the Kuda Bellankadawala and Kelegama villages. The most commonly used methods for HEC damage control were elephant watch towers (85%) and firecrackers (70%) and the survey has revealed that elephant corridor methods are still not used for reducing of HECs in the study areas. It is expected that the findings of this study will be instrumental in the formulation and implementation of local-level policies for minimizing damages from HECs in Sri Lanka.
... Elephants maintain ecosystem function (Wright andJones 2006, Campos-Arceiz and, and their loss can lead to cascading effects (Hilbers et al. 2015). Elephants in some countries may become locally extinct without conservation action, and this is particularly likely for the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), which has disappeared from approximately 95% of its historical range and has been extirpated from Pakistan, Java, and most of China (Sukumar 2006). ...
Article
Conservation interventions for threatened species must be based on accurate assessments of the effects of anthropogenic pressures on habitat suitability. We used multiscale multivariable species-distribution modeling to evaluate habitat suitability for an Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) population in Shangyong Reserve, Yunnan Province, southwestern China. We investigated the scales at which measurements of environmental variables best reflected elephant habitat selection, and examined whether these responses changed over 2 decades (2000–2010 and 2011–2020) in response to 20 environmental variables, including 14 variables reflecting landscape fragmentation, the extent of buildings, and transport infrastructure. Elephant presence was sensitive to the scale of each variable, and the effects differed among variables within and between decades. More than half of the variables influenced elephant presence at coarse scales of 8 or 16 km, including 12 variables reflecting anthropogenic pressures in 2000–2010 and 10 in 2011–2020. Overall, multivariate models with variables at their optimal scales had higher discrimination than models at uniformly fine scales of 1 km or 2 km. The extent of suitable habitat for elephants declined by 24% over 2 decades. Less than half of elephant habitat was located within Shangyong Reserve (49% in 2000–2010, 40% in 2011–2020), indicating the importance of managing suitable habitat beyond reserve boundaries. Roads and buildings reduced the probability of elephant presence, with effects that extended beyond their immediate footprint. We advocate that infrastructure be planned with buffers, ≥8 km wide, between roads or buildings and core elephant habitat. Multiscale multivariable species-distribution modeling should be employed to ensure that all suitable habitat for the remaining fragmented elephant populations in Yunnan is identified, mapped, and protected.
... The Asian elephants live in the tropical rainforests and monsoon forests in Asian countries namely, Sri Lanka, Bengal, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, and China. Kempf and Santiapillai (2000), Sukumar, (2006), and Sukumar (1998) have done a study on the distribution of elephant population in the world. Consequently, the biggest population of Asian elephants has been found in India and the number is recorded as"25000 -27000 and Sri Lanka is in the second place. ...
Article
Full-text available
The land area of Sri Lanka constitutes 65,610 sq. km with a considerable range of forest conservation zones that are prone to human-elephant conflict (HEC) that has led to various social, economic, and environmental issues. The main objective of this study is to identify the key issues in human-elephant conflict and propose viable solutions for them using Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). Two key HEC prone areas have been selected for this study, namely Kuda Bellankadawala and Kelegama Gramaniladari Divisions (GND) in the Thambuttegama Divisional Secretariat. Both primary and secondary data sources have been utilized in data collection and data were mainly derived from information sources, particularly published on HEC incidents reported in the key areas. Primary data were collected using PRA methods, such as resources map, seasonal map, problem tree, and risk quadrant. It was found out from the PRA survey that HEC incidents from Kuda Bellankadawala and Kelegama divisions account for 41% and 56% respectively. In terms of damage evaluation, 70% of incidents account for property damages while 25% account for damages to cultivations. According to the HEC risk value calculation, 165.85 and 100.17 risk values were found in the Kuda Bellankadawala and Kelegama villages. The most commonly used methods for HEC damage control were elephant watch towers (85%) and firecrackers (70%) and the survey has revealed that elephant corridor methods are still not used for reducing of HECs in the study areas. It is expected that the findings of this study will be instrumental in the formulation and implementation of local-level policies for minimizing damages from HECs in Sri Lanka.
... The riparian ecosystem serves as a linear ecological corridor for a range of species, from lower aquatic types to large herbivores such as elephants, since rivers pass through multiple habitats (Johnsingh et al. 1990;Basak et al. 2021). Most of the elephant corridors and linking ties between different habitats in the Western Ghats of India are aligned with rivers, streams, and flood plains due to gradient slopes (Johnsingh et al. 1990;Easa 2005;Menon et al. 2005;Sukumar 2006;Rameshan et al. 2014). Studies in Amazon have found that riparian ecosystems act as corridors for birds and mammals (Lees and Peres 2008). ...
Article
Ecosystems across the globe, be it terrestrial, marine or transitional in nature are under pressure due to multiple drivers of changes including anthropogenic. Restoring the vitality of degraded systems is crucial for fulfilling the UN-Sustainable Development Goals in a timely manner. It is also essential for attaining the targets of the ambitious UN-Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (UN-DER). Riparian ecosystems are one among systems undergoing drastic changes due to anthropogenic pressures. They are a heterogeneous and biodiversity rich system due to its transitional zone occurrence between terrestrial and aquatic realms, including riverbanks, floodplains and wetlands, and provide ecosystem services on both local as well as global levels. Here we review the prospects of restoring riparian ecosystems in the context of the UNDER. Even though the momentum for restoring riparian habitats began in the 1970s, our study reveals that intensive restoration programmes across the world are sparse and more efforts are needed to restore degraded riparian systems for regaining ecosystem health and complexity. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of various strategies deployed for restoring riparian ecosystems around the world reveals that a participatory approach and site-specific strategies are needed for better output. Also, active along with passive restoration is required for better recovery. We suggest a three-stage strategy-preassessment, restoration activities and post monitoring and maintenance. It includes the involvement of stakeholders across all stages, which also supports their livelihoods. The restoration of riparian ecosystems supports the targets of UNDER while providing both global as well as local ecosystem services.
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The issue of conserving the Thai elephant appears to be a somewhat underrated area, perhaps due to past difficulties in promoting the issue. We hosted an interactive exhibition in a local shopping centre to familiarise visitors with the issue and tested the relationship between perceived interactivity and raised awareness of elephant conservation issues. The exhibition was designed to engage the five human senses. In addition to a wealth of visual elements, we also used sculptures that visitors could touch, forestry scents, elephant noises and ice cream that tasted like fruits elephants prefer. Promotion of the exhibition was done online via social media platforms. The quantitative findings revealed a moderate-to-strong relationship between perceived interactivity and raised awareness, implying that individuals who considered the exhibition more interactive also reported an increase in awareness of the elephant issue. The qualitative findings have shown that one and a half year later participants remembered various interactive parts of their experience and were able to identify different modalities of the presented information. Therefore, the study provided arguments in favour of using multi-modal exhibitions in promoting the protection of wildlife.
Chapter
Man-wildlife conflict is common where forests exist in the vicinity of human habitation. Such conflicts like man-tiger conflict in the Sunderbans and man-elephant conflict in the forests of Dooars and Jungle Mahal are considered in this study. Human-elephant conflict is an incidental occurrence of the Jungle Mahal which is seasonally disturbed by the intrusion of the herd of elephants in the agricultural lands adjacent to the forest areas. Incidentally, elephants of the Jungle Mahal and Dooars enter the paddy field or in the farms of vegetables and greens only when they are filling half the stomach. The members of the herd have become violent when they are barred or restricted from their feast in the farms of vegetables and greens by the local inhabitants. Consequently, people are sometimes injured by the violent elephants and thus people particularly of adventurous types are attacked by the elephants. A list of such attacked persons is prepared by a rapid sampling method, but there might be vagueness in the number of attacks per person by the elephants. Determination of variance by means of standard error on the number of elephant-attacks on the attacked persons and encountered by the same persons to the elephants is the objective of this study applying statistical methods of random sampling with replacement. In such sampling, things get more complicated when the true value in a population is estimated with a sample of persons. Like elephants of Dooars and Jungle Mahal, tigers attacked and killed the fishermen, woodcutters, and the honey collectors in the mangrove forest of the Sunderbans. Further, tiger straying incidents in the villages and that of tiger attacks upon the human being has become a serious problem causing man-tiger conflict. Such incidents of man-animal conflicts are somehow correlated and that correlation is estimated to establish the relationships of incidents applying the statistical measures on the average month-wise data of tiger straying incidents and average number of persons killed by the tiger attacks.
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Asian elephants and humans have long shared their lives, but recent changes in human perspectives on animal use have created ripples through the small country of Nepal. Captive elephants are caught in the crossfire between local communities, elephant owners, mahouts, and NGOs in debates over their treatment, health, welfare and use in tourism. In addition, zoonotic disease, natural disasters and political strife affect the lives of captive elephants and mahouts. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, elephants, caregivers and owners found themselves facing income loss, decreased welfare from housing and husbandry issues, and food shortages. Many owners sold elephants, fired mahouts, and “quit” the tourism industry. Others sought help from outside organizations, community members, and governmental agencies to retain ownership of what they viewed as valuable commodities. NGOs and grassroots organizations assisted in the hopes of keeping elephants in Nepal, thus preventing them from long, treacherous walks across the border and into situations where they might face further welfare decreases. This article combines elephant stable visits and interviews with mahouts, owners, NGO, and government staff between January 2019 and December 2021. It highlights the ongoing health and welfare challenges faced by elephants and mahouts in Nepal . .
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Understanding the relationship between humans and elephants is of particular interest for reducing conflict and encouraging coexistence. This paper reviews the ecological relationship between humans and Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in the rainforests of the Malay Peninsula, examining the extent of differentiation of spatio-temporal and trophic niches. We highlight the strategies that people and elephants use to partition an overlapping fundamental niche. When elephants are present, forest-dwelling people often build above-the-ground shelters; and when people are present, elephants avoid open areas during the day. People are able to access several foods that are out of reach of elephants or inedible; for example, people use water to leach poisons from tubers of wild yams, use blowpipes to kill arboreal game, and climb trees to access honey. We discuss how the transition to agriculture affected the human–elephant relationship by increasing the potential for competition. We conclude that the traditional foraging cultures of the Malay Peninsula are compatible with wildlife conservation.
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Animals were vital to the British colonization of Myanmar. In this pathbreaking history of British imperialism in Myanmar from the early nineteenth century to 1942, Jonathan Saha argues that animals were impacted and transformed by colonial subjugation. By examining the writings of Burmese nationalists and the experiences of subaltern groups, he also shows how animals were mobilized by Burmese anticolonial activists in opposition to imperial rule. In demonstrating how animals - such as elephants, crocodiles, and rats - were important actors never fully under the control of humans, Saha uncovers a history of how British colonialism transformed ecologies and fostered new relationships with animals in Myanmar. Colonizing Animals introduces the reader to an innovative historical methodology for exploring interspecies relationships in the imperial past, using innovative concepts for studying interspecies empires that draw on postcolonial theory and critical animal studies.
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Although senescence is often observed in the wild, its underlying mechanistic causes can rarely be studied alongside its consequences, because data on health, molecular and physiological measures of senescence are rare. Documenting how different age-related changes in health accelerate ageing at a mechanistic level is key if we are to better understand the ageing process. Nevertheless, very few studies, particularly on natural populations of long-lived animals, have investigated age-related variation in biological markers of health and sex differences therein. Using blood samples collected from semi-captive Asian elephants, we show that pronounced differences in haematology, blood chemistry, immune, and liver functions among age classes are also evident under natural conditions in this extremely long-lived mammal. We provide strong support that overall health declined with age, with progressive declines in immune and liver functions similarly in both males and females. These changes parallel those mainly observed to-date in humans and laboratory mammals, and suggest a certain ubiquity in the ageing patterns.
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The population structure, seasonal movement patterns, and foraging behavior of approximately 500 Asian elephants in India show that pubertal and adult males (aged 15+ yrs) incurred greater risks than female-led family herds by foraging on cultivated crops, which have more nutritive value than wild food plants. It is suggested that greater risk-taking of adult males may be related to males' greater variance in reproductive success. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Social organization of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is not well understood in the absence of long-term studies of identified individuals. Adult Asian elephant females and their young offspring of both sexes form matriarchal groups, with pubertal males dispersing from natal groups, but whether these social groups represent families and whether males show locational or social dispersal were unknown. Using nuclear microsatellite loci amplified from dung-extracted DNA of free-ranging elephants in a large southern Indian population, we demonstrate that female-led herds comprise closely related individuals that are indeed families, and that males exhibit non-random locational dispersal.
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Records of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) were used to derive parameters of the von Bertalanffy function for growth in height, body weight and circumference of tusks with age. There was some evidence for a post-pubertal secondary growth spurt in both male and female elephants. Domestic elephants which were born in captivity or captured at a young age also showed a reduced growth in height in both the sexes and in body weight in males compared to wild elephants. Aspects of allometric growth such as height-body weight relationship are examined. The height was twice the circumference of front foot throughout the life span, indicating an isometric relationship. KeywordsAsian elephant- Elephas maximus -growth-von Bertalanffy function
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This study is based on 645 hr of observations on the social behaviour of tame elephants maintained at three wildlife sanctuaries of Bandipur, Mudumalai and Anaimalai in South India. These elephants are wild captured adults, and their calves born in captivity. The observations were carried out when the elephants are left free for grazing in their natural habitat, where they often intermingle with wild herds. The adult females always stay together when there are calves present: while the adult males graze by themselves. The calves position themselves between adult females and juveniles closer to their mother. All females rush together when a calf sounds alarm. The adult females stand guard over calves lying down for rest thereby accepting considerable reduction in the amount of time devoted to feeding. The ‘allomothers’ suckle other calves when they have no calf of their own, sometimes as much as the mother herself. The acts of social communication are largely initiated by the calf touching the breast or body of an adult female with its nostril. There is much variation in the extent of communication and suckling from one allomother to another with a mother definitely preferring her own calf. Keywords Elephas maximus -social behaviour-allomaternal care-captive groups
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Southern India, one of the last strongholds of the endangered Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), harbours about one-fifth of the global population. We present here the first population genetic study of free-ranging Asian elephants, examining within- and among-population differentiation by analysing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and nuclear microsatellite DNA differentiation across the Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats, Anamalai, and Periyar elephant reserves of southern India. Low mtDNA diversity and 'normal' microsatellite diversity were observed. Surprisingly, the Nilgiri population, which is the world's single largest Asian elephant population, had only one mtDNA haplotype and lower microsatellite diversity than the two other smaller populations examined. There was almost no mtDNA or microsatellite differentiation among localities within the Nilgiris, an area of about 15,000 km2. This suggests extensive gene flow in the past, which is compatible with the home ranges of several hundred square kilometres of elephants in southern India. Conversely, the Nilgiri population is genetically distinct at both mitochondrial and microsatellite markers from the two more southerly populations, Anamalai and Periyar, which in turn are not genetically differentiated from each other. The more southerly populations are separated from the Nilgiris by only a 40-km-wide stretch across a gap in the Western Ghats mountain range. These results variably indicate the importance of population bottlenecks, social organization, and biogeographic barriers in shaping the distribution of genetic variation among Asian elephant populations in southern India.
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The origin of Borneo's elephants is controversial. Two competing hypotheses argue that they are either indigenous, tracing back to the Pleistocene, or were introduced, descending from elephants imported in the 16th-18th centuries. Taxonomically, they have either been classified as a unique subspecies or placed under the Indian or Sumatran subspecies. If shown to be a unique indigenous population, this would extend the natural species range of the Asian elephant by 1300 km, and therefore Borneo elephants would have much greater conservation importance than if they were a feral population. We compared DNA of Borneo elephants to that of elephants from across the range of the Asian elephant, using a fragment of mitochondrial DNA, including part of the hypervariable d-loop, and five autosomal microsatellite loci. We find that Borneo's elephants are genetically distinct, with molecular divergence indicative of a Pleistocene colonisation of Borneo and subsequent isolation. We reject the hypothesis that Borneo's elephants were introduced. The genetic divergence of Borneo elephants warrants their recognition as a separate evolutionary significant unit. Thus, interbreeding Borneo elephants with those from other populations would be contraindicated in ex situ conservation, and their genetic distinctiveness makes them one of the highest priority populations for Asian elephant conservation.
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The matriarchally organized Asian elephant society is characterized by long-term stability and continuity. Flux within this society results from changing ecological conditions and the dynamics of its population. Its structure is influenced by age composition and physiological states within the female herd and by impinging influences of the perigpheral males, especially during reproductive times. Recent behavioral studies of captive populations have substantiated older field studies and have demonstrated that chemical signals play a significant role in elephant society. Chemical investigations, based on previously substantial behavioral interactions, have identified specific compounds or combinations of compounds in elephant emissions (especially urine, temporal gland secretions and breath) that remain bioactivity throughout chemical extractions and playback experiments, based on behavioral and/or chemosensory responses. Chemosensory neuroreceptive systems in Asian elephants are reviewed, as well as behavioral and chemosensary effects of whole exudate chemical signals on lifestyles, especially related to mating. Several discrete and composite chemical signals have been deciphered in elephants, one of which is a preovulatory female-to-male pheromone, (Z)-7-dodecen-1-yl acetate. This pheromone and other recently described or potential chemical signals are compared to compounds in insect pheromone blends. Such knowledge of the chemical ecology of the Asian elephant has potentially important implications for conservation.
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The Asian elephant has had a unique cultural association with people. Unfortunately, elephants and people have also been in conflict, resulting in the decline in elephants throughout their former range in Southern Asia. This book provides an ecological analysis of elephant human interaction and its implications for the conservation of elephants. The foraging habits of elephants and their impact on vegetation are considered, along with the interactions that occur between elephants and humans. The ecological data provide the basis for recommendations on elephant conservation and management, keeping in view the socioeconomic imperatives of the Asian region.This first comprehensive account of Asian elephant ecology will be of particular interest to conservation biologists and mammalogists.
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Tiedemann R. and Kurt F. 1995. A stochastic simulation model for Asian elephant Elephas maximus populations and the inheritance of tusks. [In: Ecological genetics in mammals II. G. B. Hartl and J. Markowski, eds]. Acta Theriologica, Suppl. 3: 111-124. In the framework of available historical data on population size and human impact on the Asian elephant Elephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758, we developed a stochastic simulation model for elephant populations, which simulates individual elephants and includes their geno- and phenotype regarding the tusk character. The model omits density dependence of reproduction parameters and mortality rates. The model predicts female mortality and mean calving interval to be the paramount factors determining the long-term population trend. For simulated female mortality rates of 5% and 5.5% a mean calving interval of 5.2 years and 4.4-4.5 years, respectively, leads to stable populations, which is in accordance with values derived from field observations. Taking into account a higher mortality of tuskers due to human impact, frequencies of the tusk allele were simulated both for dominant and recessive inheritance of the tusk character. The best accordance with census data was achieved, when the tusk allele was assumed to be dominant, combined with a slight reproductive advantage for tuskers. Since the model simulates population dynamics and tusk allele frequencies under various mortality schedules, it can be used to predict the effect of conservation efforts on populations of the Asian elephant.
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Conflicts between elephants (Elephas maximus) and humans occur in Rajaji National Park (RNP), one of 11 reserves designated in India to conserve Asian elephants. We studied elephant-human conflicts in RNP, northwestern India, from 1996 to 1999 and recorded all human and elephant deaths or injuries caused by conflict. Primary conflicts included crop raiding, competition between humans and elephants for vegetation, and elephant mortality due to trains. Adult males that raided crops had home ranges twice as large as adult males that did not raid crops. Elephants only damaged crop fields that occurred within their home ranges. Field trials of chemical-based deterrents and electric fencing should be tried to reduce crop damage. Train speeds need to be reduced to prevent accidental elephant mortality.
Article
A description of sexual behavior was formulated based upon observations of both captive and wild Asiatic elephants. Communication mechanisms, including visual, acoustic, tactile, and chemical signals, are reviewed. The importance of chemical signals in the integration of elephant sexual behavior is emphasized. Secretions from the temporal glands of the male may possibly function as identifiers and indicators of age and sex. Vaginal secretions from the female appear to be involved in indicating her state of receptivity to the male. It is suggested that the seasonal aggressiveness shown by male elephants, termed musth, is comparable to rutting behavior in other ungulates, such as deer. Estrus in the female was determined by behavioral criteria and through vaginal smears. The interval between estrous periods in females is approximately 3 weeks, with a mean of 22 days and a range of 18 to 26. The mean duration of estrous periods for 6 females was 4 days. Sexual behavior patterns were broken down into three categories: Contact promoting behaviors include the exchange of chemical information employing the trunks. Various areas of the body have different valences depending on the reproductive condition of the interacting animals. Females tend to investigate the male's temporal gland most frequently and males investigate the urogenital sinus of the female. Precopulatory behavior involves wrestling with intertwined trunks, reaching over by the male, driving, neck biting, and attempted mounts. Copulation requires the complete cooperation of the female who remains passive and standing or kneeling. The male mounts and through independent movements of the penis achieves intromission. Intromission is brief, being less than 8 seconds in duration and the total duration of a mount is often less than 30 seconds. The number of mounts per ejaculation by the male varies between 4 and 2. The number of intromissions per ejaculation varies from 1.4 to 3.5. Typically the females are organized into cohesive matriarchal herds which travel about in a rather large home range which overlaps the home ranges of individual males. Adult males are typically solitary in their movements unless they join a cow herd. If a cow is in estrus, a male will remain with the cow herd actively courting her. Competition. between males can arise when more than one male comes into contact with the same cow herd. The sexual behavior of African elephants is contrasted with the behavior patterns described for the Asiatic elephant. The two elephant species show broad similarities in behavior and temporal patterning. The function of the temporal gland in the Asiatic elephant male appears to be quite different from the functions implied from the African elephant studies. The courtship and copulation behaviors shown by the elephant are interpreted with respect to its evolutionary history. It is concluded that the major modifications in elephant behavior involve no departures from homologous behavior patterns in other mammals but rather involve adaptations to major structural differences that the elephant has evolved including its graviportal support system and its prehensile trunk. No major departures in social structure and behavior can be discerned for the elephant when it is compared with other ungulate species.
Article
Historically, the Asian elephant has never bred well in captivity. We have carried out demographic analyses of elephants captured in the wild or born in captivity and kept in forest timber camps in southern India during the past century. The average fecundity during this period was 0.095/adult female/year. During 1969–89, however, the fecundity was higher at 0.155/adult female/year, which compares favorably with wild populations. There was seasonality in births with a peak in January. The sex ratio of 129 male to 109 female calves at birth is not significantly different from equality, although the excess of male calves born mainly to mothers 20–40 years old may have biological significance. Mortality rates were higher in females than in males up to age 10, but much lower in females than in males above age 10 years. The population growth rate, based on the lower secundity over the century, was 0.5% per year, and based on the higher secundity during 1969–89, was 1.8% per year. The analyses thus showed that timber camp elephants in southern India could potentially maintain a stationary or increasing population without resorting to captures from the wild. Breeding efforts for elephants in zoos can thus profitably learn from the experience of traditional management systems in part of Asia. Zoo Biol 16:263–272, 1997. © 1997 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
This paper reports on important behavioural aspects of the Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus) in South-East Sri Lanka (Ceylon), in relation to recommendations for its conservation. The activity cycle of the elephant has been investigated in relation to local or short-range movements which were found to be diurnally rhythmic. The elephant was estimated to spend about 17 to 19 h/day feeding. The feeding cycle is seen to consist of three successive phases, namely (1) rapid movement and low feeding rate, (2) little movement and high feeding rate, and (3) a certain amount of movement and relaxed feeding. During a given feeding cycle an elephant consumes about 150 kg of fresh vegetation and defecates about 80 kg of it per day. The dynamics of grass feeding were worked out for a herd of elephants in the Gal Oya National Park. The outlook for the elephant population in South-East Sri Lanka has been critically analysed with reference to its mode of habitat utilisation. The main constraints introduced into its ecosystem are discussed, namely blocking of migratory routes, burning of grassland, construction of roads, grazing of domestic cattle in its home ranges, felling of trees by villagers, and an over-population of water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis). Measures for conservation are briefly dealt with.
Article
Reviews observations of elephant training in the field and in the zoo. Visual and auditory discriminations were learned. In comparative studies with an ass, a zebra, and a horse in the zoo, only the latter approximated the elephant's performance. Hypotheses regarding the relevance of brain characteristics as factors in learning and memory were offered. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This comprehensive survey of the Asian elephant is the result of an FPS-sponsored project dating from 1973. The author is Co-Chairman with J.C. Daniel, Curator of the Bombay Natural History Society) of the Survival Service Commission's Asian Elephant Group, created in 1976. He discusses the history of man-elephant relationships in Asia, the animal's status in each country where it occurs, and the reasons both for its disappearance from most of its former range and for its continuing decline. Much of the information is based on reports direct from the field and, in the case of peninsular Malaysia, on the author's own observations while attached to the office of the Chief Game Warden of West Malaysia. He estimates that only 28,000-42,000 Asian elephants remain in the wild.
Article
The Asian elephant Elephas maximus is threatened with extinction unless intensive conservation and captive-breeding programmes are implemented without delay. The success of breeding programmes depends critically on maintenance of genetic diversity within captive populations; hence, the accurate assignment of paternity of progeny is of considerable importance. Determination of paternity from field observations is complicated by the fact that oestrous ♀♀ may mate with more than one ♂. The aim of this study was to use DNA fingerprinting to establish the paternity of three Asian elephant calves born at Pin-nawela Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka. DNA was extracted from blood samples taken from the calves, their dams and three putative sires, and fingerprinted using the multi-locus DNA probe 33.15. The sire of each calf was identified unambiguously by comparative analysis of the DNA fingerprints of the calf and dam with those of each bull. Results from a pairwise comparison of band-sharing probabilities confirmed the paternity identification.
Article
The concepts of longevity (longest lived) and life expectancy (typical age at death) are common demographic parameters that provide insight into a population. Defined as the longest lived individual, longevity is easily calculated but is not representative, as only one individual will live to this extreme. Longevity records for North American Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) have not yet been set, as the oldest individuals (77 and 53 years, respectively) are still alive. One Asian elephant lived to 86 years in the Taipei Zoo. This is comparable to the maximum (though not typical) longevity estimated in wild populations. Calculation of life expectancy, however, must use statistics that are appropriate for the data available, the distribution of the data, and the species' biology. Using a simple arithmetic mean to describe the non-normally distributed age at death for elephant populations underestimates life expectancy. Use of life-table analysis to estimate median survivorship or survival analysis to estimate average survivorship are more appropriate for the species' biology and the data available, and provide more accurate estimates. Using a life-table, the median life expectancy for female Asian elephants (Lx=0.50) is 35.9 years in North America and 41.9 years in Europe. Survival analysis estimates of average life expectancy for Asian elephants are 47.6 years in Europe and 44.8 years in North America. Survival analysis estimates for African elephants are less robust due to less data. Currently the African elephant average life expectancy estimate in North America is 33.0 years, but this is likely to increase with more data, as it has over the past 10 years. Zoo Biol 23:365–373, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Book
Prologue 1. Morphology, evolutionary history and recent distribution 2. Food and other habitat resources 3. Space-time patterns of habitat use 4. Body size and nutritional physiology 5. Body size and feeding ecology 6. Social organisation and behaviour 7. Life history 8. Body size and sociobiology 9. Body size and reproductive patterns 10. Demography 11. Community interactions 12. Body size and population regulation 13. Body size and ecosystem processes 14. Late Pleistocene extinctions 15. Conservation Epilogue: the megaherbivore syndrome Appendixes References Index.
Article
Poor reproductive success compromises the long-term viability of captive Asian elephant populations. A questionnaire was designed to assess the importance of reproductive behavior and husbandry factors on breeding success. This was circulated to a number of institutions, zoos, and circuses in Asia, Europe, and North America, all of which kept Asian elephants. The aims were to compare Asian elephant breeding success in different institutions, establish possible causes for any differences, and make recommendations for improving the welfare and breeding success of the animals. The results showed that breeding success in most of the zoos was notably lower and the percentages of stillbirths and infant mortality were relatively higher when compared with those of the institutions in Asia. Female elephants in zoos appeared to reach sexual maturity and reproduce earlier than those in the Asian establishments. However, zoo elephants produced fewer young per female. The different facilities and husbandry methods used are described. Recommendations are made for both short- and long-term changes that could be used to modify existing practices to improve the welfare and breeding success of captive Asian elephants. Zoo Biol 17:311–332, 1998. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
This study examines the population genetic structure of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) across India, which harbours over half the world's population of this endangered species. Mitochondrial DNA control region sequences and allele frequencies at six nuclear DNA microsatellite markers obtained from the dung of free-ranging elephants reveal low mtDNA and typical microsatellite diversity. Both known divergent clades of mtDNA haplotypes in the Asian elephant are present in India, with southern and central India exhibiting exclusively the β clade of Fernando et al. (2000), northern India exhibiting exclusively the α clade and northeastern India exhibiting both, but predominantly the α clade. A nested clade analysis revealed isolation by distance as the principal mechanism responsible for the observed haplotype distributions within the α and β clades. Analyses of molecular variance and pairwise population FST tests based on both mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA suggest that northern-northeastern India, central India, Nilgiris (in southern India) and Anamalai-Periyar (in southern India) are four demographically autonomous population units and should be managed separately. In addition, evidence for female philopatry, male-mediated gene flow and two possible historical biogeographical barriers is described.
Article
Calls at frequencies below the range of human hearing were recorded from two groups of captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Most of the calls ranged in frequency from 14 to 24 Hz, with durations of 10–15 s (Fig. 1). With the nearest elephant 5 m from the microphone, sound pressure levels were 85 to 90 dB (re 20 Pa). These calls occurred in a variety of circumstances. Elephants are the first terrestrial mammals reported to produce infrasound. These calls may be important in the coordination of behavior in thick vegetation or among separated groups of elephants.
Article
We report on the genetic evaluation and behavioral study of social organization in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Although Asian elephants and African elephants (Loxodonta africana) were previously thought to have similar social organizations, our results demonstrate a substantial difference in the complexity and structure of Asian elephant social groupings from that described for African savanna elephants. Photographic cataloging of individuals, radio telemetry, and behavioral observations in Ruhuna National Park, Sri Lanka, enabled us to assign associated females and young to four groups with overlapping ranges. Genetic sampling of individuals from the four groups in Ruhuna National Park and three other groups in surrounding areas, conducted through PCR amplification and sequencing of mitochondrial DNA from dung, supported the matriarchal nature of female groups and the lack of inter-group transfer of females. Behaviorally and genetically, the identified social groups were best described as ”family groups”. We did not find any evidence for the existence of social groups of higher complexity than family groups.
Article
Submitted to: Dept. of Biology. Vol. 2: Plates. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard University, 1971.
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