Demography of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Uda Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka based on identified individuals

de Silva, Shermin, Ranjeewa, Ashoka DG ORCID: 0000-0003-2022-6237 and Weerakoon, Devaka (2011) Demography of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) at Uda Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka based on identified individuals. Biological Conservation, 144 (5). pp. 1742-1752. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.03.011

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We provide estimates of population size and other demographic variables for individually-identified Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in Uda Walawe National Park (UWNP), Sri Lanka based on systematic year-round observations. Two hundred and eighty-six adult females and 241 adult males were identified, of which four adults (2% of males) had tusks. Sightings-based demographic models showed seasonal immigration and emigration from the study area. The total population, including non-adults, was between 804 and 1160 individuals. Density ranged from 102 to 116 adult females per 100 km2 and remains at this level throughout the year. This large, un-fragmented population of Asian elephants should be of high conservation priority. We find that estimates of survivorship and migration rates should be based on long sampling intervals when possible, but estimates of density and population size can still be made when observations are constrained to shorter intervals, if spatial data are available. We offer suggestions to guide census design for other elephant populations or cryptic species. We urge that other locations be systematically surveyed as well using photographic identification.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: Ashoka Deegoda Gamage publishes under the pseudonym 'Ashoka DG Ranjeewa'.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asian elephant; Elephas maximus; Demography; Population estimation; Capture–recapture
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Ashoka Deegoda Gamage
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2024 10:38
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2024 10:50

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