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Water-body use by Asian elephants in Southern Sri Lanka


Pastorini, J; Nishantha, H G; Janaka, H K; Isler, K; Prithiviraj, F (2010). Water-body use by Asian elephants in Southern Sri Lanka. Tropical Conservation Science, 3(4):412-422.

Abstract

We assessed water-body use by elephants through monitoring elephant signs around them. Elephant footprints and dung piles were recorded at 25 water bodies fortnightly for one year. Elephants preferred perennial water bodies and avoided those with temporary human dwellings. Human activities did not significantly affect elephant use of water bodies, suggesting low incidence of activities and behavioral adaptation to them by elephants. Elephant signs at perennial water bodies increased in the dry season. The monitoring technique was able to detect differences in elephant densities in two areas and establish the presence of herds even at low densities. We conclude that outside protected areas, large perennial water bodies represent a preferred resource for elephants, and that assessing elephant signs around water bodies is a useful technique for monitoring elephant presence for management and research purposes.

Abstract

We assessed water-body use by elephants through monitoring elephant signs around them. Elephant footprints and dung piles were recorded at 25 water bodies fortnightly for one year. Elephants preferred perennial water bodies and avoided those with temporary human dwellings. Human activities did not significantly affect elephant use of water bodies, suggesting low incidence of activities and behavioral adaptation to them by elephants. Elephant signs at perennial water bodies increased in the dry season. The monitoring technique was able to detect differences in elephant densities in two areas and establish the presence of herds even at low densities. We conclude that outside protected areas, large perennial water bodies represent a preferred resource for elephants, and that assessing elephant signs around water bodies is a useful technique for monitoring elephant presence for management and research purposes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Anthropology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:18 Feb 2011 20:42
Last Modified:09 Oct 2016 07:12
Publisher:Mongabay.com
ISSN:1940-0829
Additional Information:Open Access Journal = Copyright: © Pastorini, Jennifer, H. G. Nishantha, H. K. Janaka, Karin Isler and Prithiviraj Fernando. This is an open access paper. We use the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ - The license permits any user to download, print out, extract, archive, and distribute the article, so long as appropriate credit is given to the authors and source of the work. The license ensures that the published article will be as widely available as possible and that the article can be included in any scientific archive. Open Access authors retain the copyrights of their papers. Open access is a property of individual works, not necessarily journals or publishers.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/194008291000300406
Official URL:http://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/content/v3/10-12-20_412-422_Pastorini_et_al.pdf
Related URLs:http://tropicalconservationscience.mongabay.com/issues.html (Publisher)

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