Start Date: 1st October, 2010.tel: +44 (0)1786 466379email: email@example.com: @Trunk_n_Tails
Our understanding of early elephant development is limited, lacking studies on normal social and physical development of wild Asian elephant calves. Given problems of sustaining captive elephant populations, and welfare and wellbeing implications, we urgently need to assess and improve the welfare of calves in captive facilities.
The physical and social development of elephant calves in captivity will be quantified in addition to collecting data on interactions between mothers and calves. This data will then be compared against baselines derived from wild calves in order to develop welfare indicators for rearing calves in captivity. Both captive African and Asian elephant calves will be studied in three UK zoos and wild Asian elephants will be studied in Uda Walawe National Park (UWNP), Sri Lanka. The project also has access to existing datasets of wild African calves from Amboseli, Kenya.
Calf survival is key to understanding population viability for both captive and wild populations. The study will also explore how physical growth and development relate to survival, stress, health and wellbeing.
This project will address gaps in our understanding of early elephant development, and will underpin welfare improvements for elephant calves managed in captive breeding facilities.
Thanks to Chester Zoo and Longleat Safari & Adventure Park for generous funding.
Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London
Zoological Society of London, Student Fellow
Behaviour and Evolution Research Group, University of Stirling (BERG)
The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB)
The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)
Primate Society of Great Britain (PSGB)
Scottish Primate Research Group (SPRG)