Assessing translocation outcome: Comparing behavioral and physiological aspects of translocated and resident African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

Noa Pinter-Wollman, Lynne A. Isbell, Lynette A Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Evaluating translocation outcomes is important for improving wildlife management and conservation actions. Often, when quick decisions need to be made and long-lived animals with slow reproduction rates are translocated, traditional assessment methods such as long-term survival and reproductive success cannot be used for assessing translocation outcomes. Thus, alternative, seldom used, measures such as comparing the behavior and physiology of translocated animals to those of local residents should be employed to assess the translocated animals' acclimation to their new home. Here we monitored the survival, physiology, and behavior of translocated African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and compared these measures to the local resident population at the release site. Adult male and female translocated elephants' death rates were higher than those of the local population. Furthermore, the mortality rate of translocated adult males and calves was greater than expected based on their proportion in the translocated elephant population. No difference was found in stress hormone levels between the two populations, but the body condition of the translocated elephants was significantly poorer than that of the local population throughout the study period. The behavioral time budgets of the translocated elephants converged with those of the local population over time. Finally, translocated elephants utilized habitat that was similar to their source site (hills and permanent rivers) more than did the local population. Based on these findings we recommend careful consideration of timing, release location, and individuals targeted in future elephant translocations. More broadly, we introduce and explore seldom used translocation assessment techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1124
Number of pages9
JournalBiological Conservation
Volume142
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2009

Fingerprint

Loxodonta africana
elephant
translocation
Elephantidae
wildlife management
physiology
animal
animal physiology
resident population
body condition
assessment method
nature conservation
acclimation
reproductive success
hormone
animals
hormones
calves
mortality
rivers

Keywords

  • Body condition
  • Habitat choice
  • Kenya
  • Management
  • Relocation
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Assessing translocation outcome : Comparing behavioral and physiological aspects of translocated and resident African elephants (Loxodonta africana). / Pinter-Wollman, Noa; Isbell, Lynne A.; Hart, Lynette A.

In: Biological Conservation, Vol. 142, No. 5, 05.2009, p. 1116-1124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{f3eae939cc68436fb755810cabaa790d,
title = "Assessing translocation outcome: Comparing behavioral and physiological aspects of translocated and resident African elephants (Loxodonta africana)",
abstract = "Evaluating translocation outcomes is important for improving wildlife management and conservation actions. Often, when quick decisions need to be made and long-lived animals with slow reproduction rates are translocated, traditional assessment methods such as long-term survival and reproductive success cannot be used for assessing translocation outcomes. Thus, alternative, seldom used, measures such as comparing the behavior and physiology of translocated animals to those of local residents should be employed to assess the translocated animals' acclimation to their new home. Here we monitored the survival, physiology, and behavior of translocated African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and compared these measures to the local resident population at the release site. Adult male and female translocated elephants' death rates were higher than those of the local population. Furthermore, the mortality rate of translocated adult males and calves was greater than expected based on their proportion in the translocated elephant population. No difference was found in stress hormone levels between the two populations, but the body condition of the translocated elephants was significantly poorer than that of the local population throughout the study period. The behavioral time budgets of the translocated elephants converged with those of the local population over time. Finally, translocated elephants utilized habitat that was similar to their source site (hills and permanent rivers) more than did the local population. Based on these findings we recommend careful consideration of timing, release location, and individuals targeted in future elephant translocations. More broadly, we introduce and explore seldom used translocation assessment techniques.",
keywords = "Body condition, Habitat choice, Kenya, Management, Relocation, Stress",
author = "Noa Pinter-Wollman and Isbell, {Lynne A.} and Hart, {Lynette A}",
year = "2009",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1016/j.biocon.2009.01.027",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "142",
pages = "1116--1124",
journal = "Biological Conservation",
issn = "0006-3207",
publisher = "Elsevier BV",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessing translocation outcome

T2 - Comparing behavioral and physiological aspects of translocated and resident African elephants (Loxodonta africana)

AU - Pinter-Wollman, Noa

AU - Isbell, Lynne A.

AU - Hart, Lynette A

PY - 2009/5

Y1 - 2009/5

N2 - Evaluating translocation outcomes is important for improving wildlife management and conservation actions. Often, when quick decisions need to be made and long-lived animals with slow reproduction rates are translocated, traditional assessment methods such as long-term survival and reproductive success cannot be used for assessing translocation outcomes. Thus, alternative, seldom used, measures such as comparing the behavior and physiology of translocated animals to those of local residents should be employed to assess the translocated animals' acclimation to their new home. Here we monitored the survival, physiology, and behavior of translocated African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and compared these measures to the local resident population at the release site. Adult male and female translocated elephants' death rates were higher than those of the local population. Furthermore, the mortality rate of translocated adult males and calves was greater than expected based on their proportion in the translocated elephant population. No difference was found in stress hormone levels between the two populations, but the body condition of the translocated elephants was significantly poorer than that of the local population throughout the study period. The behavioral time budgets of the translocated elephants converged with those of the local population over time. Finally, translocated elephants utilized habitat that was similar to their source site (hills and permanent rivers) more than did the local population. Based on these findings we recommend careful consideration of timing, release location, and individuals targeted in future elephant translocations. More broadly, we introduce and explore seldom used translocation assessment techniques.

AB - Evaluating translocation outcomes is important for improving wildlife management and conservation actions. Often, when quick decisions need to be made and long-lived animals with slow reproduction rates are translocated, traditional assessment methods such as long-term survival and reproductive success cannot be used for assessing translocation outcomes. Thus, alternative, seldom used, measures such as comparing the behavior and physiology of translocated animals to those of local residents should be employed to assess the translocated animals' acclimation to their new home. Here we monitored the survival, physiology, and behavior of translocated African elephants (Loxodonta africana) and compared these measures to the local resident population at the release site. Adult male and female translocated elephants' death rates were higher than those of the local population. Furthermore, the mortality rate of translocated adult males and calves was greater than expected based on their proportion in the translocated elephant population. No difference was found in stress hormone levels between the two populations, but the body condition of the translocated elephants was significantly poorer than that of the local population throughout the study period. The behavioral time budgets of the translocated elephants converged with those of the local population over time. Finally, translocated elephants utilized habitat that was similar to their source site (hills and permanent rivers) more than did the local population. Based on these findings we recommend careful consideration of timing, release location, and individuals targeted in future elephant translocations. More broadly, we introduce and explore seldom used translocation assessment techniques.

KW - Body condition

KW - Habitat choice

KW - Kenya

KW - Management

KW - Relocation

KW - Stress

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=62049083125&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=62049083125&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.01.027

DO - 10.1016/j.biocon.2009.01.027

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:62049083125

VL - 142

SP - 1116

EP - 1124

JO - Biological Conservation

JF - Biological Conservation

SN - 0006-3207

IS - 5

ER -