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The elephants Elephas maximus of Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam:status and conservation of a vanishing population

Varma, Surendra and Dang, Nguyen Xuan and Thanh, Tran Van and Sukumar, R (2008) The elephants Elephas maximus of Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam:status and conservation of a vanishing population. In: Oryx, 42 (1). pp. 92-99.

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This study updates the status and conservation of the Endangered Asian elephant Elephas maximus in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam. Line transect indirect surveys, block surveys for elephant signs, village surveys of elephant-human conflict incidents, guard-post surveys for records of sightings, and surveys of elephant food plants were undertaken during the dry and wet seasons of 2001. A minimum of 11 elephants and a maximum of 15-17 elephants was estimated for c. $500 km^2$ of the Park and its vicinity. The elephants are largely confined to the southern boundary of the Park and make extensive use of the adjoining La Nga State Forest Enterprises. During the dry season the elephants depend on at least 26 species of wild and cultivated plants, chiefly the fruits of cashew. Most of the villages surveyed reported some elephant-human conflict. Two adult male elephants seem to cover a large area to raid crops, whereas the family groups restrict themselves to a few villages; overall, the conflict is not serious. Since 2001 there have been no reports of any deaths or births of elephants in the Park. We make recommendations for habitat protection and management, increasing the viability of the small population, reducing elephant-human conflicts, and improving the chances of survival of the declining elephants of this Park. The Government has now approved an Action Plan for Urgent Conservation Areas in Vietnam that calls for the establishment of three elephant conservation areas in the country, including Cat Tien National Park.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Oryx
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: Asian elephant, Cat Tien National Park,elephant-human conflict, Elephas maximus, minimum viable population, Vietnam.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 May 2008
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:44
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/13958

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