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Title: History and Status of the popluation of African elephant (Loxodonta africana, Blumenbach, 1797) and Human-elephant Conflict in Chebera-Churchura National Park, Ethiopia
Authors: Meseret, Ademasu
Date Added: 3-Sep-2007
Abstract: A study on the history and status of the population of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and human-elephant conflict in Chebera-Churchura National Park was conducted from July 2005 to March 2006. This study was aimed to fill information gap on the population status of the elephants of the south western mid-altitude forest in the country. Data on the population history, seasonal movement and distribution and the human-elephant interactions in the area were collected based on the questionnaire survey and field observations. The population size and abundance of elephants in the area was determined from dung counts survey. The dung density was determined based on line transect survey and a total of 45 transects with a length of 68.3 km were surveyed within high and medium density strata. The age and sex structure of elephants were categorized based on the body size comparison, footprint measurements and bolus circumference measurements. The history of the elephant population of the area appeared to have started within the last three decades when it was seen for the first time in the area. The elephant population came to the area from the side of Omo National Park. The population has been increasing in size and extent of distribution since the late 1990s to cover the present study area and its surroundings. However, following an intensive poaching and habitat degradation due to human activities since the transitional government, they are confined to two localities in CCNP. The elephant population has two groups localized in the northern and the western parts of the Park within 250 km2 area. The elephant population has extended wet season home range that was determined by habitat and human factors. The population size of the elephants was estimated to be 85 (+ 24) with a density of 0.007 elephants/km2. Defecation and dung decay rates were 16.57 (+ 2.044) droppings/ elephant/ day and 0.0133 (+ 0.0017) droppings/day respectively. The elephant population was expressed as young and growing population, but with less number of juveniles and calves, might be due to mortality and/or reproductive pressure from elephant density or human factors. The more skewed sex ratio in favor of females (1:2) and less number of males above 20 years of age were probably due to selective poaching for adult males with relatively larger tusk. The human-elephant conflict was associated with the size and distribution of the elephant population, commonly distributed before one and half decades ago. The impact of elephants on the surrounding communities was localized to four villages (20% of the boundary line). However, habitat loss and killing of elephants by human activities continued till the present. These findings of the study are important in making management decisions and are base lines for future monitoring of elephants of the area.
Description: Thesis presented to the School of Graduate Studies of the Addis Ababa University in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Biology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/48
Appears in:Thesis - Biology

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