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Re-establishing and managing elephants on wildlife ranches

28 April 2015

www.leopard.tvFree-ranging elephants should only be re-established in large areas. On wildlife ranches or conservancies their reproduction and numbers should be limited to prevent them from eventually changing the habitat to such an extent that it starts to threaten their survival as well as that of other wildlife.

The best time to re-establish elephants is at the onset or end of the wet season. Entire herds containing a dominant cow should be re-established because such a matriarch maintains discipline in the herd. The minimum shoulder height of a breeding bull for re-establishment is 2.6 m. In breeding herds in the wild there usually is an equal number of bulls and cows, but in bachelor herds there are 15 bulls for every 85 elephants that are in a breeding herd. On large wildlife ranches or conservancies, however, the number of adult bulls should be reduced because with an excess of such bulls it will cause some of them to attempt to break out after becoming adult, or the elephants will start to fight within and between the genders when the cows enter oestrus.

The minimum herd size will be... (Become a subscriber for more)

 

References:

Du Toit, J G 2015. The African savanna elephant. In J du P Bothma & J G du Toit (Eds), Game ranch management, sixth edition. Pretoria: Van Schaik. In Press.

Garaï, M E 2005. The elephant. In Bothma, J. du P. & N van Rooyen (Eds), Intensive wildlife production in southern Africa. Pretoria: Van Schaik, pp 2 - 24.

Preller, B 2015. The silent giants of southern Africa, fourth edition. Bela Bela: Bob Preller.

Skinner, J D & C T Chimimba (Eds) 2005. Mammals of the southern African subregion, third edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 51 - 59.

 

article by Prof J du P Bothma

 

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