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Title: Habitat relationships of Asian elephants in shifting-cultivation landscapes of Meghalaya, Northeast India

Author: Marcot, Bruce G.; Kumar, Ashish; Talukdar, G.; Srivastava, A.K.;

Date: 2011

Source: Gahah. 34: 8-17

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: In Asia and India, Asian elephants (Elaphas maximus) attain their highest densities and numbers in Meghalaya, particularly in Garo Hills, of northeast India. Little quantitative work has been done on elephant-habitat relationships in this region where the species' distribution is known to be highly fragmented. If elephants and their habitat are to be conserved, particularly in Garo Hills, and elephant-human conflicts reduced, the initial steps are to understand their spatial and temporal distributions, determine habitat conditions associated with elephant densities, identify key population stressors, and suggest conditions conducive to elephant population persistence. This landscape analysis should be viewed as a broad, first step in identifying good and poor habitat for Asian elephants in Garo Hills, and for describing quantitative relations of elephant numbers and densities with habitat conditions. We did not study behavioural responses of elephants to habitat conditions, such as use of traditional travel lanes, redistribution of individual elephants among sites between the census periods and in response to human habitation, and selection for specific and alternative vegetation conditions. Our results are working hypotheses testable with more specific behavioural studies.

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Marcot, Bruce G.; Kumar, Ashish; Talukdar, G.; Srivastava, A.K. 2011. Habitat relationships of Asian elephants in shifting-cultivation landscapes of Meghalaya, Northeast India. Gajah. 34: 8-17.


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