Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3034
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Using dung bolus diameter for age estimation in an unstudied elephant population in Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania
Authors: Nowak, Katarzyna
Jones, Trevor
Lee, Phyllis C
Contact Email: phyllis.lee@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: elephant demography
forest habitats
population monitoring
human-elephant conflict
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Publisher: African Elephant, the African Rhino, and the Asian Rhino Specialist Groups of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC)
Citation: Nowak K, Jones T & Lee PC (2009) Using dung bolus diameter for age estimation in an unstudied elephant population in Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, Pachyderm, 46, pp. 47-52.
Abstract: Savannah elephants make extensive use of montane forest in three Tanzanian massifs, including the highly biodiverse Udzungwa Mountains. We have begun the first study of the Udzungwa elephant population, which is perceived to be increasing and is compressed due to loss of connectivity with adjacent protected areas. Meanwhile, human-elephant conflict outside the forests is escalating. We tested a non-invasive technique for estimating elephant age from dung bolus diameter using a predictive equation derived from known-age elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya. Our results from 137 measurements of intact boli found an overall mean dung bolus diameter of 11.0 cm ± 2.1 and a mean age of 16.0 years ± 5.6, suggesting that the Udzungwa population is young but contains reproductive-age adults (>10 yrs old). This method’s precision and accuracy require further testing and we discuss the limitations; however, it has potential as a monitoring tool for elephant populations inhabiting forest elsewhere in Tanzania, and across Africa. We intend to re-run this analysis using a larger sample size from more sites, as well as incorporate elephant monitoring into the Udzungwa Mountains National Park’s long-term management plan.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/3034
URL: http://www.pachydermjournal.org/index.php/pachy/article/view/138
Rights: Open Access, licensed under Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/; Using dung bolus diameter for age estimation in an unstudied elephant population in Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania by Katarzyna Nowak, Trevor Jones, Phyllis C. Lee. Published in Pachyderm, No 46 (2009), pp. 47-52.
Affiliation: University of Stirling
Anglia Ruskin University
Psychology

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