TECH Elephant dung collected for health condition study: research center


Elephant dung collected for health condition study: research center

People's Daily app

16:01, June 13, 2021

Researchers have collected the dung of the wandering herd of wild Asian elephants in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province for study, said Chen Fei, director of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration's Asian Elephant Research Center on Saturday.

Aerial photo taken on June 12, 2021 shows a herd of wild Asian elephants in Shije Township of Yimen County, Yuxi City, southwest China's Yunnan Province. (Photo: Xinhua)

The rare long-distance migration of a herd of wild Asian elephants in Southwest China has recently caught global attention. Experts at the Asian Elephant Research Center have been monitoring and studying the herd’s migration, and helping with precautionary work to protect the elephants and people along the way.

Chen said they are conducting research on the dung to examine the physical condition of the wild elephants. They hope to provide support for wild elephant protection and management.

"We have been carrying out monitoring and prevention work regarding this herd of Asian elephants,” said Chen. “Since the end of last year, our team has began to assist forestry authorities to guide the herd, conduct timely analysis and diagnosis of the herd’s activities, and prepare market towns, schools and other areas for possible intrusion, effectively preventing the herd from accidentally breaking into densely populated areas and causing human-elephant conflict.”

Researchers are analyzing the trajectory of the herd, vegetation along the route, food resources, terrain, temperature and other conditions, Chen said.

Working with a team from Yunnan University, the research center is also helping authorities with timely monitoring, warning and precautions with remote-sensing images and data analysis.

Chen said his team will track changes of the elephant’s population and study their behavior and habitat, to provide scientific support for further alleviation of human-elephant conflict.

The Asian Elephant Research Center of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration was officially established in December 2019.

(Compiled by Jia Qingqian)

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