Wildlife tourism may negatively affect African elephants' behavior

March 20, 2019

Increasing numbers of tourists are interested in observing wildlife such as African elephants, and income generated from tourism potentially aids in the protection of animals and their habitats. However, a new Journal of Zoology study reveals that wildlife tourism may be a stressor for free-ranging elephants.

Over the course of 15 months, researchers recorded the behaviour of elephants in relation to the overall number of tourists in an African reserve. Elephants were more likely to perform aggressive behaviour towards other elephants when the number of tourists in the reserve was high. Also, elephant herds were more likely to move away from tourists when multiple vehicles were present.

"Tourists who wish to observe animals in their natural habitat should be aware of their potential negative effects on animal welfare and research should investigate best practise standards to minimise such negative effects," said lead author Isabelle Szott, of Liverpool John Moores University, in the UK.
-end-


Wiley

Related Elephants Articles from Brightsurf:

How do giraffes and elephants alter the African Savanna landscape?
Through their foraging behavior across the diverse topography of the African savanna, megaherbivores may be unknowingly influencing the growth and survival of vegetation on valleys and plateaus, while preserving steep slopes as habitat refugia.

New findings highlight threatened status of forest elephants
Conservation efforts for the African forest elephant have been hindered by how little is known the large animal, according to researchers.

Researchers study elephants' unique interactions with their dead
Stories of unique and sentient interactions between elephants and their dead are a familiar part of the species' lore, but a comprehensive study of these interactions has been lacking -- until now.

A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
About 800,000 years ago, the giant straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon migrated out of Africa and became widespread across Europe and Asia.

Capturing elephants from the wild hinders their reproduction for over a decade
Capturing elephants to keep in captivity not only hinders their reproduction immediately, but also has a negative effect on their calves, according to new research.

Sisters improve chances of reproduction in Asian elephants
Researchers at the University of Turku found that the presence of a maternal sister was positively and significantly associated with annual female reproduction in a population of working elephants in Myanmar.

Future of elephants living in captivity hangs in the balance
Scientists at the University of Sheffield and University of Turku are looking at ways to boost captive populations of Asian elephants without relying on taking them from the wild.

Wildlife tourism may negatively affect African elephants' behavior
Increasing numbers of tourists are interested in observing wildlife such as African elephants, and income generated from tourism potentially aids in the protection of animals and their habitats.

Sex differences in personality traits in Asian elephants
Scientists from the University of Turku, Finland, have found that male and female Asian elephants differ in their personality.

New welfare tool to help improve the lives of elephants in human care
Zoos and safari parks in the UK are using a special new tool to help them more successfully monitor the wellbeing of elephants in their care, thanks to a study led by The University of Nottingham.

Read More: Elephants News and Elephants Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.