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Ranging behavior of the Asian elephant in Sri Lanka


Fernando, P; Wikramanayake, E D; Janaka, H K; Jayasinghe, L K A; Gunawardena, M; Kotagama, S W; Weerakoon, D; Pastorini, J (2008). Ranging behavior of the Asian elephant in Sri Lanka. Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde, 73(1):2-13.

Abstract

We studied the ranging patterns of 10 elephants in and around the Yala protected area complex, southern Sri Lanka, using VHF radio telemetry. All tracked elephants displayed similar ranging patterns. The observed home ranges were small (mean=115.2±64.0 km2) relative to reported home ranges in India, possibly in response to high habitat productivity and abundant perennial water sources. Elephants showed high fidelity to their ranges. Home ranges had relatively large core areas, suggesting intensive use of habitat. No geographically distinct seasonal ranges or migratory behavior was observed. Home range overlap was high, and territoriality was absent. Male musth ranges were considerably larger than non-musth ranges and may signify mate searching. Most elephants ranged both in and outside protected areas, suggesting that resources outside protected areas were important for their survival. Thus, translocating and restricting elephants to protected areas will be detrimental to their survival, as it limits resource access. The ranging patterns of Asian elephants suggest that conservation of the species requires their management both in and outside protected areas.

We studied the ranging patterns of 10 elephants in and around the Yala protected area complex, southern Sri Lanka, using VHF radio telemetry. All tracked elephants displayed similar ranging patterns. The observed home ranges were small (mean=115.2±64.0 km2) relative to reported home ranges in India, possibly in response to high habitat productivity and abundant perennial water sources. Elephants showed high fidelity to their ranges. Home ranges had relatively large core areas, suggesting intensive use of habitat. No geographically distinct seasonal ranges or migratory behavior was observed. Home range overlap was high, and territoriality was absent. Male musth ranges were considerably larger than non-musth ranges and may signify mate searching. Most elephants ranged both in and outside protected areas, suggesting that resources outside protected areas were important for their survival. Thus, translocating and restricting elephants to protected areas will be detrimental to their survival, as it limits resource access. The ranging patterns of Asian elephants suggest that conservation of the species requires their management both in and outside protected areas.

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Additional indexing

Other titles:Streifverhalten des asiatischen Elefanten in Sri Lanka
Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Anthropological Institute and Museum
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:01 Sep 2008 15:09
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1616-5047
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.mambio.2007.07.007
Official URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mambio.2007.07.007
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-3463

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