Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (UPI) Feb 6, 2013
Wild African elephants prefer to live in safer, protected areas like national parks to avoid humans and become stressed when they leave them, researchers say.
Writing in the African Journal of Ecology, scientists reported finding elephants living inside Tanzania's Serengeti National Park showed less stress than those living outside the protected area, suggesting they "know" which areas are safer to live in.
Protected areas in the Serengeti are not fenced, researchers said, meaning elephants can enter areas where they are at greater risk of conflicts with humans.
Scientists tested elephant dung both inside the protected areas and outside for levels of the stress hormone gluccorticoid.
Elephants outside Serengeti National Park may have learned to associate humans and vehicles with the hunting activity and illegal poaching that put them at risk, researchers said.
"Elephants probably remember where they are, and that bad experiences stress them," Eivin Roskaft from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim told the BBC.
"I think elephants know where they are safe or not," he said. "However, sometimes they also are tempted by nice food outside the park which attracts them to such areas."
"The biggest threat to African elephants and other wildlife is the human population increase outside all such parks," he said.
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|