Navigation Links
Male elephants get 'photo IDs' from scientists
Date:8/15/2007

Asian elephants dont carry photo identification, so scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Indias Nature Conservation Foundation are providing the service free of charge by creating a photographic archive of individual elephants, which can help save them as well.

The researchers have developed a unique photographic capture-recapture survey method that identifies individual male elephants, specifically by the shape and size of their tusks, ears, and other features. This in turn can be used to monitor their survival rates and movement, according to a new study published in the current issue of the Journal Animal Conservation (10: 391-399).

Unlike African elephants where both males and females have tusks, only male Asian elephants have valuable tusks, so they are specifically targeted by poachers, said WCS researcher Varun Goswami, the studys lead author. In light of this fact, just counting all elephants with generic techniques isnt enough. Our new method allows specific tracking of male elephant population dynamics, so it is a powerful conservation tool.

Working in collaboration with the Karantaka State Forest Department in Nagarahole and Bandipur reserves, researchers systematically took more than 2400 photographs of individual elephants, sampling game roads and waterholes over an 80-day period. Male elephants in particular were given special treatment, with the scientists recording data such as tusk length, thickness, angle, arrangement, as well as other characteristics ear shape, shoulder height, tail length, and scars. These data revealed some 134 individual male elephants in a population of 991 elephants, with an adult male/female ratio of 1 to 4.33. The data were analyzed using advanced open capture-recapture models.

The new method complements traditional survey techniques, which can gauge overall elephant densities and sex ratios at population levels, but are unable to monitor demographics of male elephants with a degree of rigor attained by studies that focus on data from individual animals. More importantly, such accurate assessments of male elephants can help conservationists monitor poaching rates over the long term. Also, elephant carcasses can be compared with archival photos to identify individuals and even to aid in law enforcement efforts.

In addition to poaching, another threat to male elephants comes from human farmers defending their food resources from crop-raiders. Recognizing individual males that are prone to crop-raiding can inform better management interventions. At present, exactly how many male elephants engage in crop-raiding is unknown.

The rigor of this technique can help us achieve real conservation success with the Asian elephants, which are threatened across their 13 country range, said Dr. Ullas Karanth, a co-author of the study who pioneered the use of the photographic capture-recapture method to study tigers earlier. We believe this method can be expanded to answer other questions relevant to Asian elephant conservation across their entire range.


'/>"/>
Contact: John Delaney
jdelaney@wcs.org
718-220-3275
Wildlife Conservation Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Elephants imitate truck noises, other animals
2. Elephants imitate sounds as a form of social communication
3. New partnership to clear landmines for African Elephants
4. Male elephants woo females with precise chemistry
5. Genetic analysis of Asian elephants in India reveals some surprises
6. WWF peeks into mysterious life of Borneos pygmy elephants
7. Drunken elephants: The marula fruit myth
8. Elephants, large mammals recover from poaching in Africas oldest national park
9. Serengeti patrols cut poaching of buffalo, elephants, rhinos
10. Key molecule in plant photo-protection identified
11. Photos show jaguar vamping for camera
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of the medical ... premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)...  Neurotechnology, a provider of high-precision biometric identification ... Identification System (ABIS) , a complete system for ... can process multiple complex biometric transactions with high ... face or iris biometrics. It leverages the core ... MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have been used in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the ... the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s ... how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a ... discoveries to the medical community, has closed its Series ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received a ... the capital we need to meet our current goals," ... provide us the runway to complete validation on the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... regulatory and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality ... 13, 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... partnership that will allow them to produce up ... (HiPSC) from one lot within one week. These ... their time laboriously preparing cells and spend more ... made possible through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process ...
Breaking Biology Technology: