Myanmar’s semi-captive working elephant population is not sustainable without capture from the wild
Jackson, J., U Mar, K., Z Childs, D. and Lummaa, V. (2018). Myanmar’s semi-captive working elephant population is not sustainable without capture from the wild. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/109040
© the Authors, 2018
Wildlife populations in captivity are increasingly common, but captive populations often have a higher extinction risk and may require supplementation through wild-capture. Despite this, wild-capture may actually hinder long-term conservation goals by reducing remaining wild populations, and its direct and long-term indirect consequences for captive population viability are rarely addressed using longitudinal data. Here, we explore the implications of changes in wild-capture on population viability over 54 years using a multi-generational studbook of working Asian elephants from Myanmar. We show that population viability declined between 1960 and 2014 with declines in wild-capture. Wild-caught females had reduced birth rates and high mortality risk, but despite such disadvantages their capture is required to sustain the captive population. Importantly, survival in juveniles had a large influence on population viability, suggesting that targeting juvenile mortality may have a disproportionate effect on population growth. Myanmar’s working population may constitute a third of the large captive population of Asian elephants (~16,000 individuals), and sustainable management of this population is crucial for the preservation of this species. Our results highlight the need to assess the demographic consequences of wild-capture as species are increasingly managed and conserved in altered or novel environments, to ensure the sustainability of both wild and captive populations. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
MetadataShow full item record
- ECCB 2018