The aim of this study was to investigate the population and habitat of wild elephants in the Khao Yai National Park, to provide elephant population densities using the line transect method. Habitat suitability was also assessed based on the data obtained from the location of the species during monthly ranger patrol across the park area, with the rate of dung decay used for population calculation. The population structure and age class were studied by direct observation to estimate the population trend. On the basis of 116 systematic transect lines that were 2 km in length and separated by 500-m intervals, a total of 1,209 elephant dung piles were found in more than 213.20 km. The analysis of the combined data showed that the dung density was 531.49 dung piles/km2, with a decay rate of 0.0039 dung piles/day based on 56 dung piles checked every 7 days. The annual data showed that the population density was 0.15 individuals/km2. The population structure comprising calf:juvenile:subadult:adult was 1: 1.09:1.14:2.10; the sex ratio of adult male to adult female elephants was 1:1.10; and the ratio of reproductive ability among adult females, juveniles, and calves was 1.00:0.99:0.90. The combined data also showed that the main environmental factor affecting the presence of the animals was salt lick sites. The pooled data analysis found that the habitat most suitable for the elephants covered an area of 220.59 km2. The habitat suitability, based on the dry season appearance data, covered an area of 258.64 km2, whereas during the wet season, it covered an area of 517.45 km2. As the most suitable habitat for elephants appears around the park boundary, habitat improvements for wild elephants should address the central areas of the national park. A greater emphasis should be placed on creating salt licks, being far from human activity sites.
If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.
Alfred R. Ahmad A. H. Payne J. William C. Ambu L. et al. (2010) Density and Estimation of the Bornean Elephants (Elephas maximus borneensis) in Sabah. OnLine Journal of Biological Sciences 10 (2) 92-102.
Arivazhagan C. (2005) Population dynamics of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Southern India. Ph.D Thesis Bharathidasan University Trichy India.
Arivazhagan C. & Sukumar R. (2008) Constructing age structure of Asian elephant populations: a comparison of two field methods of age estimation. Gajah 29 11-16.
Barnes J.I. (1996) Changes in the economic use value of elephant in Botswana: the effect of international trade prohibition. Ecological Economics 18 (3) 215-230.
Barnes R.F.W. (2001) How reliable are dung counts for estimating elephant numbers? African Journal of Ecology 39 1–9.
Barnes R.F.W. & Barnes K.L. (1992) Estimating decay rates of elephant dung piles in forest. African Journal of Ecology 30 316–321.
Barnes R.F.W. & Jensen K.L. (1987) How to count elephants in forests. IUCN African Elephants and Rhino Specialist Group: Technical Bulletin 1 12-87.
Burnham K.P Anderson D. R. Laake J.L. et al. (1980) Estimation of density from line transect sampling of biological populations. Wildlife Monograph 72 1-202.
Chaiyarat R. Youngpoy. N. Prempree P. et al. (2015) Wild Asian elephant Elephas maximus population in Salakpra Wildlife Sanctuary Thailand. Endangered Species Research 29 95-102.
Chokcharoen R. & Sukmasuang R. (2012) Ecology of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary Bueng Kan Province. Journal of Wildlife in Thailand 19 13-22 (in Thai).
Choudhury A. Choudhury L. Desai A.A. Duckworth J.W. Easa P.S. Johnsingh A.J.T. Fernando P. Hedges S. Gunawardena M. Kurt F. Karanth U. Lister A. Menon V. Riddle H. Rübel A. Wikramanayake E. et al. (2008) Elephas maximus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T7140A12828813. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T7140A12828813.en.
Collins N.J. (2018) Sumatran elephant Elephas maximus sumatranus density and habitat use in relation to forest characteristics in the Leuser Ecosystem North Sumatra. M.Sc. Thesis Bournemouth University UK.
Dawson S. (1990) A model to estimate the density of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in forest habitats. M.Sc. thesis University of Oxford UK.
Dawson S. & Dekker A.J.F.M. (1992) Counting Asian elephants in forests. FAO Bangkok.
De R.C. & Spillet J.J. (1966) A study of the Chital or spotted deer in Corbett National Park Uttar Pradesh. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 63 576–598.
Dekker A.J.F.M. Dawson S. & Desai A.A. (1991) An indirect method for counting Asian elephants in forests. In: U. Ramakrishnan Santosh J.A. & Sukumar R. (Eds.) Censusing Elephant in Forests Proceedings of an International Workshop (2-10 January 1992 Bangalore India) Asian Elephant Conservation Center Bangalore India 54-64.
Dobias R. (1985) Final report: WWF/IUCN Project 3001: elephant conservation and protected area management. WWF/IUCN Royal Forest Department Bangkok Thailand.
Hedges S. (2012) Estimating Elephant Population Density and Abundance from Dung Pile Density: Theoretical Concepts. In: S. Hedges (Ed.) Monitoring Elephant Populations and Assessing: Threats a manual for researchers managers and conservationists (pp. 61-111). Universities Press (India) Private Limited.
Faculty of Forestry (2013) Elephant Conservation and management plan. Faculty of Forestry Kasetsart University Press. Bangkok. (in Thai)
FAO (2009) Human-wildlife conflict in Africa conflict in Africa causes consequences Causes consequences and management strategies and management strategies. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/3/i1048e/i1048e00.pdf.
Fawcett T. (2006) An introduction to ROC analysis. Pattern Recognition Letters 27 861-874.
Foley C.A.H. Papageorge S. Wasser S. K. et al. (2001) Non-invasive measures and reproductive measures of social and ecological pressures in free ranging African elephants. Conservation Biology 14 1134-1142.
Fowler M.E. & Mikota S.K. (2006) Biology medicine and surgery of elephants. Ames IA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Katugaha H.I.E. deSilva M. Santiapillai C. et al. (1999) A long term study on the dynamics of the elephant (Elephas maximus) in Ruhuna National Park Sri Lanka. Biological Conservation 89 51-59.
Kitamura S. Yumoto T. Poonswad P. Wohandee P. et al. (2007) Frugivory and seed dispersal by Asian elephants Elephas maximus in a moist evergreen forest of Thailand. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23 373–376.
Kumara H.N. Rathnakumar S. Kumar M.A. Singh M. et al. (2012) Estimating Asian elephant Elephas maximus density through distance sampling in the tropical forests of Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve India. Tropical Conservation Science 5 (2) 163-172.
Lueders I. Niemuller C. Rich P. Gray C. Hermes R. Goeritz F. et al. (2012) Gestating for 22 months: luteal development and pregnancy maintenance in elephants. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 279 3687–3696.
Lynam A.J. Round P.D. Brockelman W.Y. et al. (2006) Status of birds and large mammals in Thailand’s Dong Phayayen - Khao Yai Forest Complex. Wildlife Conservation Society and Biodiversity Research and Training (BRT) Programme Bangkok.
Madhusudan M.D. (2003) Living amidst large wildlife: livestock and crop depredation by large mammals in the interior villages of Bhadra Tiger Reserve South India. Journal of Environmental Management 31 (4) 466-475.
Menkham K. Sukmasuang R. Pla-Ard M. Charaspet K. Panganta T. Trisurat Y. Bhumpakphan N. et al. (2019) Population and habitat use of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) and five ungulate species in Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary Chachoengsao Province Thailand. Biodiversitas 20 2213-2221.
National Parks Research and Innovation Development Center (NPRD) (2017) Attitudes and opinions of Thai tourists towards the conservation of crocodiles in Khao Yai National Park. National Parks Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department Nakorn Ratchasima Province. (in Thai).
Nchanji A.C. & Plumptre A.J. (2001) Seasonality in elephant dung decay and implications for censusing and population monitoring in south-western Cameroon. African Journal of Ecology 39 24–32
Phillips S.J. (2008) A Brief Tutorial on Maxent. Retrieved from http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~schapire/maxent/tutorial.doc.
Phillips S.J. & Dudík M. (2008) Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31(2) 161-175.
Ramakrishnan U. Santosh J.A. Sukumar R. et al. (1991) Censusing elephants in forests. Asian Elephant Conservation Centre of IUCN/SSG Asian Elephant Specialist Group Bangalore India.
Seoraj-Pillai N. & Pillay N. (2017) A meta-analysis of human-wildlife conflict: South African and global perspectives. Sustainability 9 (34) 1-21. Retrieved from DOI: 10.3390/su9010034
Srikosamatara S. & Hansel T. (1996) Mammals of Khao Yai National Park. Green World Foundation Bangkok.
Storer P.J. (1981) Elephant Population in Thailand. Natural History Bulletin of Siam Society 29 1-30.
Sukmasuang R. (2009) Population density of Asian elephants in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary. Thai Journal of Forestry 28(1) 40 – 50.
Sukumar R. (1989) The Asian elephant: ecology and management. Cambridge University New York.
Sukumar R. (2006) A brief review of the status distribution and biology of wild Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). International Zoo Yearbook 40 1–8.
Sukumar R. Ramakrishnan U. Santosh J.A. et al. (1998) Impact of poaching on Asian elephant population in Periyar southern India: a model of demography and tusk harvest. Animal Conservation 1 281 – 291.
Thai National Park (2019) Wildlife in Khao Yai. Retrieved from https://www.thainationalparks.com/khao-yai-national-park/wildlife.
Thomas L. Buckland S.T. Rexstad E.A. Laake J.L. Strindberg S. Hedley S.L. Bishop J.R.B. Marques T.A. Burnham K.P. et al. (2010) Distance software: design and analysis of distance sampling surveys for estimating population size. Journal of Applied Ecology 47 5-14. Retrieved from DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01737.x
Treves A. & Naughton-Treves L. 1999. Risk and opportunity for humans coexisting with large carnivores. Journal of Human Ecology 36 275-282.
Trisurat Y. Eiumnoh A. Tharnchai P. Phongpanit K. et al. (1996) A geographical study of wildlife abundances in Khao Yai National Park Thailand. Report submitted to Thailand Research Fund. School of Environment Resources and Development Asian Institute of Technology Bangkok
UNESCO (2019) Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex. Retrieved from https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/590/.
Van de Water A. & Matteson K. (2018) Human-elephant conflict in western Thailand: Socio-economic drivers and potential mitigation strategies. PLoS ONE 13(6) e0194736. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194736.
Vanleeuwe H. & Probert. J. (2014) Decay rate of elephant dung in Conkouati-Douli National Park Republic of Congo. Pachyderm 55(55) 89-91.
Varman K.S. & Sukumar R. (1995) The line transect method for estimating densities of large mammals in a tropical deciduous forest: An evaluation of models and field experiments. Journal of Biosciences 20(2) 273-287.
Varma S. Baskaran N. & Sukumar R. (2012) Field key for elephant population estimation and age and sex classification. Asian Nature Conservation Foundation Innovation Centre Indian Institute of Science Bangalore India.
Wanghongsa S. & Boonkird K. (2004) Estimating elephant populations in dry evergreen forest of Thailand. Retrieved from http://www.theeasternforest.org/pages/2547/Estimating.pdf.
Williams C. Johnsingh A. J. T. Krausman P. R. et al. (2007) Population estimation and demography of the Rajaji National Park elephants North-West India. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 104 145-152.
White L.J.T. (1995) Factors affecting the duration of elephant dung piles in rain forest in the Lope Reserve Gabon. African Journal of Ecology 33 142–15.
Zhang Li & Wang N. (2003) An initial study on habitat conservation of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) with a focus on human elephant conflict in Simao China. Biological Conservation 112(3) 453-459.