Dilmah Conservation Asian Elephant Social Behavior Study Now Available Online

24 June 2009 | News story

Dilmah Conservation has launched an online resource site for the first long-term Asian elephant behavior study, a project supported by Dilmah Conservation and undertaken in Sri Lanka by Sri Lankan elephant biologist, Manori Gunawardena and research scientists Dr. Joyce Poole and Petter Granli of Elephant Voices. 

 The project, which bagan in September 2008 is a long-term Asian elephant behaviour study that aims to provide important research geared towards the protection of the Asian elephant.  Dr. Joyce Poole, Petter Granli and Manori Gunawardena initiated the project in order to study the social behavior and population dynamics of the Minneriya-Kaudulla elephant population in north central Sri Lanka.  With the objective of providing support for original research aimed at mitigating the prevailing human-elephant conflict in the country, the findings of this study are made available to the public through a dedicated website. 

The research aims to find tangible solutions to help with the survival of the elephant population in Asia, which has been greatly threatened due to fragmentation and loss of habitat associated with poor land usage. Through the use of individual recognition and the observational techniques developed by Amboseli during the world's longest study of elephants in Kenya, the Minneriya-Kaudulla project will be similarly conducted .  Bringing in her expertize in elephant research from her time with the Amboseli project, Dr. Joyce Poole, a recognized elephant specialist, teamed up with Manori Gunawardena, a Sri Lankan authority on Asian elephants, to make this project possible. 

Due to the long-term narure of the study, the site will be updated frequently with the latest findings on Asian elephant social behaviour made available to the public.  The study also seeks to complete an identification database of the elephant population in the Minneriya-Kaudulla region.  The elephant behavior site will provide a significant resource base for researchers and wildlife enthusiasts and will encourage the general public to become involved in the elephant conservation inititave through education, in order to foster an even higher level of wildlife understanding. 

The Dilmah Conservation elephant behavior site can be found at http://elephants.dilmahconservation.org.