Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Quantifying forest elephant social structure in Central African bai environments
Author(s): Fishlock, Vicki
Lee, Phyllis C
Breuer, Thomas
Contact Email:
Keywords: Fission-fusion sociality
Republic of Congo
Loxodonta africana cyclotis
Bai environments
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Fishlock V, Lee PC & Breuer T (2008) Quantifying forest elephant social structure in Central African bai environments, Pachyderm, 44, pp. 19-28.
Abstract: Relatively little is known of social dynamics in forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis), although the fission-fusion model of sociality known in savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) is used as a template. Until fission-fusion sociality or an alternative model is demonstrated, our understanding of how elephants use their environment remains incomplete. To date, there have been no published studies of associations between individuals in forest elephants. Direct observations of forest elephants made at forest clearings (bais) are here used as an approach to studying these questions. Bais represent a special environment, providing mineral and food resources, as well as potential social opportunities. We show that forest elephants at Mbeli Bai in NouabalĂ©-Ndoki National Park have association patterns that are consistent over time, and that certain conspecifics are preferred as associates in the bai environment. Coupled with significant differences in the group size and composition across age-sex classes, and a high proportion of sightings of lone individuals, we argue that the fission-fusion model of elephant sociality appears to hold for the bai environment. The extent of this system and the importance of bais as social resources remain to be explored.
Rights: Pachyderm provides immediate Open Access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Reproduction of this publication for educational or other non-commercial purposes is authorized without written permission from the copyright holder provided the source is fully acknowledged.

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Fishlock Central Africa.pdf425.75 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.