, Volume 53, Issue 4, pp 365-374

Habitat selection and the change in distribution of asian elephants in Mengyang Protected Area, Yunnan, China

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Abstract

Elephants were confined to Mengyang Protected Area in China and their distribution range had reduced greatly compared to past records. A preliminary study of habitat selection by Asian elephantsElephas maximus Linnaeus, 1758 and their distribution was conducted in Mengyang Protected Area and its surrounds using site visits and transect surveys from July 2003 to December 2006. Although no variable significantly influenced their habitat selection, elephants still showed preference for altitudes between 900 and 1200 m, gradients <30°, and orientations to the south-east, south and south-west. Human activities, including habitat transformation and degradation, disturbance by large infrastructure and poaching were considered to be the main factors inducing elephant distribution changes.

Associate editor was Matt Hayward.