repro 011ElefantAsia is committed to all elements of elephant welfare and conservation, including undertaking cutting-edge research. Staff from ElefantAsia are the first to perform peer-review, scientific population viability analysis for the Lao captive elephant population. Population viability analysis (PVA) is typically used to assess a population's minimal viable size or a population's extinction rate, and can be performed on almost any species. PVA is important for conservation mangers, as understanding a population's threatening processes leads to improved species management.

As with all PVA, the more information you know about a population, the more accurate and useful your results will be. Other Asian elephant PVA studies have relied on population and gender estimates, meaning results and recommendations may be imprecise. Fortunately ElefantAsia's successful captive elephant microchipping and database program means ElefantAsia researchers can provide extremely accurate PVA for the captive elephant population. Data used in the PVA include specific age distributions, exact population numbers, sex ratios and the Lao captive elephant reproductive rate.

Using population-modelling software, PVA results showed that without improved conservation, Laos' captive elephant population will be extinct in just over a century. Decreased mortality and increased elephant reproduction will give the population more time to recover and stabilise. Results show that the work performed by ElefantAsia directly helps the elephant population. If you would like to learn more about the Lao elephant PVA study, you can access a copy of the research from:

Suter, IC, Maurer, GP & Baxter, G 2014, 'Population Viability of Captive Elephants in the Lao PDR', Endangered Species Research, vol. 24, pp. 1-7.

Or email Dr Ingrid Suter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request your own copy.