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Turner, Adam John Norton, 2020. A camera trap study on the spatio-temporal behaviour of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) to mitigate human-elephant conflicts in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai – Forest Complex, Thailand. Second cycle, A2E. Umeå: SLU, Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies

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Abstract

Human-elephant conflicts (HEC) in Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) range countries have been increasing during the past half-century and are a major conservation issue for governments. Research suggests studying the spatio-temporal behavioural patterns of E. maximus could indicate behavioural preferences and help mitigate such conflicts. These behavioural preferences could be influenced by factors such as seasonal and lunar cycles, and habitat type. This study aims to determine at what degree these influencing factors are driving E. maximus behaviour and HEC. Considering previous studies on seasonal and lunar cycles and habitat utilisation affecting E. maximus’ behaviour and HEC it asks; How do these factors influence E. maximus behaviour and HEC events? Considering these factors, are there any correlations between HEC events and behaviour observed within an adjacent protected forest complex?

HEC event data was obtained from the Wang Mee district; a community adjacent to a protected area, the Dong Phayayen – Khao Yai – forest complex in Thailand. This community has undergone increasing HEC in recent years. The data was analysed to identify the effects of the aforementioned factors on HEC frequency. Furthermore, camera trap data within the forest complex are also utilised to analyse the effects of these factors on behaviour, such as changes in the observations of E. maximus’ mean distance to forest borders and habitat utilisation measured with relative abundance index (RAI). Analysis of data indicates a significant correlation between lunar and seasonal cycles and HEC events. HEC events were greater during hot and monsoon compared with the cold season. The RAI of E. maximus observations at forest borders were also significantly higher during hot season when compared to RAI at greater distances. First and last quarter moon phases indicated a significant increase in HEC in general. Seasonal and lunar cycles also determined the selection of mixed deciduous forest habitats, indicating a general increase in utilisation during the cold season. Utilisation during the cold season also varied greatly depending on the lunar cycle – increasing during the first quarter and lowest during full moon phases, indicating high variability. The results indicate that studying habitat selection preferences and seasonal and lunar cycles are important factors for park and HEC managers when mitigating conflicts. By understanding E. maximus’ behaviour and habitat needs managers can better plan for effective management and HEC mitigation.

Main title:A camera trap study on the spatio-temporal behaviour of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) to mitigate human-elephant conflicts in the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai – Forest Complex, Thailand
Authors:Turner, Adam John Norton
Supervisor:Singh, Navinder
Examiner:Axelsson, Petter
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för vilt, fisk och miljö
Volume/Sequential designation:2020:20
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(S) > Dept. of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Keywords:camera trapping, climate change, conflict mitigation, conservation, Elephas maximus, human-elephant conflict, lunar cycles, relative abundance index, seasons, spatio-temporal behaviour
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-16223
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-16223
Subjects:Nature conservation and land resources
Language:English
Deposited On:21 Oct 2020 08:23
Metadata Last Modified:22 Oct 2020 08:09

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