Elephant data informs habitat protection

Feb 24, 2010
Elephant data informs habitat protection
Bod Tai, a younger elephant collared in 2008 in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary

(PhysOrg.com) -- Collaborative Cardiff University research tracking the movements of three Bornean elephants will inform protection of their habitat.

The were fitted with the satellite collars in a joint project carried out by the Danau Girang Field Centre (run jointly by Cardiff University and Sabah Wildlife Department) and French non-governmental organisation, Hutan.

PhD student Nurzhafarina Othman said: “We placed one satellite collar on a male bull, which we named Gading who has only one tusk, another on a female we identified via observation as being the head of the group or matriarch and we named her Benina.

“The final collar was fitted on a younger female, that had been collared previously by WWF-Malaysia, and named Bod Tai”

The data collected over nearly two years shows a pattern of movement which varies between the male and females. The data gathered will inform further research into the reasons behind this variation. This research will be published at the end of Nurzhafarina’s PhD, after enough long-term satellite data is collected to explain the movement patterns.

Dr Benoît Goossens, School of Biosciences and Director of the Danau Girang Field Centre, said the data obtained was vital in helping to understand how elephant movement varied within its population based on gender and age.

He said: “It is crucial to know if there is any traditional or common routes used by the elephants as it will help wildlife managers identify important areas within the sanctuary to establish wildlife corridors for the elephants.”

Danau Girang Field Centre is a collaborative research and training facility managed by Cardiff University and Sabah Wildlife Department.

It is situated in the Lower Kinabatangan Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia and is surrounded by a mixture of lowland dipterocarp forest types, ranging from primary forest to disturbed secondary , in a matrix landscape with significant human impact including villages, small scale agriculture and oil palm plantations.

Explore further: Wolves susceptible to yawn contagion

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pygmy elephants tracked by GPS

Dec 17, 2005

A satellite used by the U.S. military to track vehicle convoys in Iraq is helping the World Wildlife Fund shed light on the pygmy elephants in Malaysia.

Study: Deforestation decimates orangutans

Jan 24, 2006

A three-year study by the Cardiff School of Biosciences reveals genetic evidence that shows colonialists pushed orangutans to the brink of extinction.

First picture of wild Borneo rhino taken

Jun 15, 2006

The World Wildlife Fund says the first-ever picture of a rhino in the wild on the island of Borneo has been taken using a motion-triggered camera trap.

Male elephants get 'photo IDs' from scientists

Aug 15, 2007

Asian elephants don’t carry photo identification, so scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and India’s Nature Conservation Foundation are providing the service free of charge by creating a photographic archive ...

Recommended for you

Wolves susceptible to yawn contagion

21 hours ago

Wolves may be susceptible to yawn contagion, according to a study published August 27, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Teresa Romero from The University of Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues.

User comments : 0