Presentation Title

A Comparative Study of Plant Species Eaten by Semi-Captive Elephants in the Wet and the Dry Season at the Elephant Valley Project, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia

Presenter's Name(s)

Beatrix Roxane BerryFollow

Time

11:00 AM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Food & Environmental Sciences

Abstract

The diet of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) has been studied very little in Cambodia. Strategies based on data and information about the diet of Asian elephants could provide information to help mitigate human-elephant conflicts and benefit captive and semi-captive elephants through reforestation of edible plants. In the Elephant Valley Project (EVP), Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia, two semi-captive elephants were observed for nine days during the dry season. The plant species, parts consumed, and plant growth forms were identified and recorded each afternoon. These results were compared to those plants observed, identified, and recorded in the wet season of the previous year. The comparison of the results shows that more species were eaten in the wet season than in the dry season. However, different parts of the same species were eaten in the dry season. This suggests that more species of plants are available in the wet season, and that different parts of the species, such as fruit, are available in the dry season and not the wet season. These results will lead to a better understanding of the diet of Asian elephants in the wet and dry seasons. A thorough plant taxonomy list with photographs, Khmer, Bunong, and scientific names given of each plant, can be utilized by conservation planners, government agencies, farmers, and elephant care workers for reforestation of elephant use areas or to deter elephants from cultivated crops.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Megan English

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

Rubenstein School of Environmental and Natural Resources

Program/Major

Environmental Studies

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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A Comparative Study of Plant Species Eaten by Semi-Captive Elephants in the Wet and the Dry Season at the Elephant Valley Project, Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia

The diet of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) has been studied very little in Cambodia. Strategies based on data and information about the diet of Asian elephants could provide information to help mitigate human-elephant conflicts and benefit captive and semi-captive elephants through reforestation of edible plants. In the Elephant Valley Project (EVP), Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia, two semi-captive elephants were observed for nine days during the dry season. The plant species, parts consumed, and plant growth forms were identified and recorded each afternoon. These results were compared to those plants observed, identified, and recorded in the wet season of the previous year. The comparison of the results shows that more species were eaten in the wet season than in the dry season. However, different parts of the same species were eaten in the dry season. This suggests that more species of plants are available in the wet season, and that different parts of the species, such as fruit, are available in the dry season and not the wet season. These results will lead to a better understanding of the diet of Asian elephants in the wet and dry seasons. A thorough plant taxonomy list with photographs, Khmer, Bunong, and scientific names given of each plant, can be utilized by conservation planners, government agencies, farmers, and elephant care workers for reforestation of elephant use areas or to deter elephants from cultivated crops.