Changes in the Ruaha elephant population caused by poaching

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Found ivory records complement the information provided by aerial surveys to illustrate changes in the Ruaha elephant population between 1973 and 1988. Intense poaching in the late 1970s and early 1980s reduced the elephant numbers by about 60% and also distorted the age structure of the survivors. There are now few cows >34 years and few bulls >16 years. Footprint measurements in 1989 showed a lack of calves aged 2 to 9 years, but many newborn infants.

Author-supplied keywords

  • age structure
  • elephants
  • footprints
  • ivory
  • poaching

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  • R. F.W. BARNES

  • E. B. KAPELA

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