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

ephants 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.


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

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