Thursday, 02 November 2017 16:13
Ensuring the survival of elephants in Laos: A matter of economics

Asian elephant populations in Laos, which are under a process of commodification, have dropped by half in the last 30 years. According to researchers from CNRS and the Beauval Nature association, the dynamics of elephant populations depend heavily on the socio-economic practices. 

The findings of this research are published in Scientific Reports on November 1st 2017.

Since the opening of the country to the market economy 20 years ago, the intensification of elephants' workload, notably for the timber industry, has heavily affected their reproduction. The elephant's long gestation period (22 months), followed by 2 years weaning, makes reproduction incompatible with work. In addition, the exportation of Lao elephants to neighboring countries for tourism purposes threatens the population survival.

Researchers developed a bio-economic model to assess the long-term impact of socio-economic strategies on the viability of the species. This model includes a year-to-year estimate of the elephant population based on demographic data such as age, sex and location that were collected regularly by the Lao department of livestock, as well as fifty interviews focusing on elephant owners breeding practices. Projected over a period of 100 years, this individual-based micro-economic model simulates the elephant owners' decision-making process and raises a major issue: is breeding - the birth of an elephant calf - more profitable than working for the logging or tourism industries? Using several scenarios, scientists show that if current elephant exportation rates do not change, the population will tend to extinction. They also found that the development of a maternity-leave system to compensate the elephant owner's loss of income would remove the economic trade-off between breeding versus working and allow the captive population to depend mostly on wild population dynamics through the mating of captive females with wild males.

This study demonstrates the demographic impact of putting a price on a natural resource such as an elephant. Since the last twenty years, elephant owners' management practices have been mostly driven by their financial interests and on the monetary value of these animals. The research also highlights the importance of including both wild and captive populations into conservation policies because of their complex interactions notably through breeding that have been poorly studied. Survival of the elephants depends on interaction between wild and captive animals, as well as on the financial interests of elephant owners.


Read more at: http://rdcu.be/x1QR

Since the opening of the country to the market economy 20 years ago, the intensification of elephants' workload, notably for the timber industry, has heavily affected their reproduction. The elephant's long gestation period (22 months), followed by 2 years weaning, makes reproduction incompatible with work. In addition, the exportation of Lao elephants to neighboring countries for tourism purposes threatens the population survival.

Researchers developed a bio-economic model to assess the long-term impact of socio-economic strategies on the viability of the species. This model includes a year-to-year estimate of the elephant population based on demographic data such as age, sex and location that were collected regularly by the Lao department of livestock, as well as fifty interviews focusing on elephant owners breeding practices. Projected over a period of 100 years, this individual-based micro-economic model simulates the elephant owners' decision-making process and raises a major issue: is breeding - the birth of an elephant calf - more profitable than working for the logging or tourism industries? Using several scenarios, scientists show that if current elephant exportation rates do not change, the population will tend to extinction. They also found that the development of a maternity-leave system to compensate the elephant owner's loss of income would remove the economic trade-off between breeding versus working and allow the captive population to depend mostly on wild population dynamics through the mating of captive females with wild males.

This study demonstrates the demographic impact of putting a price on a natural resource such as an elephant. Since the last twenty years, elephant owners' management practices have been mostly driven by their financial interests and on the monetary value of these animals. The research also highlights the importance of including both wild and captive populations into conservation policies because of their complex interactions notably through breeding that have been poorly studied. Survival of the elephants depends on interaction between wild and captive animals, as well as on the financial interests of elephant owners.



Read more at:

Since the opening of the country to the market economy 20 years ago, the intensification of elephants' workload, notably for the timber industry, has heavily affected their reproduction. The elephant's long gestation period (22 months), followed by 2 years weaning, makes reproduction incompatible with work. In addition, the exportation of Lao elephants to neighboring countries for tourism purposes threatens the survival.

Researchers developed a bio-economic model to assess the long-term impact of socio-economic strategies on the viability of the species. This model includes a year-to-year estimate of the elephant population based on demographic data such as age, sex and location that were collected regularly by the Lao department of livestock, as well as fifty interviews focusing on elephant owners breeding practices. Projected over a period of 100 years, this individual-based micro-economic model simulates the elephant owners' decision-making process and raises a major issue: is breeding - the birth of an elephant calf - more profitable than working for the logging or tourism industries? Using several scenarios, scientists show that if current elephant exportation rates do not change, the population will tend to extinction. They also found that the development of a maternity-leave system to compensate the elephant owner's loss of income would remove the economic trade-off between breeding versus working and allow the captive population to depend mostly on wild population dynamics through the mating of captive females with wild males.

This study demonstrates the demographic impact of putting a price on a natural resource such as an elephant. Since the last twenty years, elephant owners' management practices have been mostly driven by their financial interests and on the monetary value of these animals. The research also highlights the importance of including both wild and captive populations into conservation policies because of their complex interactions notably through breeding that have been poorly studied. Survival of the of Laos depends on interaction between wild and captive animals, as well as on the of elephant owners.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-survival-elephants-laos-economics.html#jCp

Since the opening of the country to the market economy 20 years ago, the intensification of elephants' workload, notably for the timber industry, has heavily affected their reproduction. The elephant's long gestation period (22 months), followed by 2 years weaning, makes reproduction incompatible with work. In addition, the exportation of Lao elephants to neighboring countries for tourism purposes threatens the survival.

Researchers developed a bio-economic model to assess the long-term impact of socio-economic strategies on the viability of the species. This model includes a year-to-year estimate of the elephant population based on demographic data such as age, sex and location that were collected regularly by the Lao department of livestock, as well as fifty interviews focusing on elephant owners breeding practices. Projected over a period of 100 years, this individual-based micro-economic model simulates the elephant owners' decision-making process and raises a major issue: is breeding - the birth of an elephant calf - more profitable than working for the logging or tourism industries? Using several scenarios, scientists show that if current elephant exportation rates do not change, the population will tend to extinction. They also found that the development of a maternity-leave system to compensate the elephant owner's loss of income would remove the economic trade-off between breeding versus working and allow the captive population to depend mostly on wild population dynamics through the mating of captive females with wild males.

This study demonstrates the demographic impact of putting a price on a natural resource such as an elephant. Since the last twenty years, elephant owners' management practices have been mostly driven by their financial interests and on the monetary value of these animals. The research also highlights the importance of including both wild and captive populations into conservation policies because of their complex interactions notably through breeding that have been poorly studied. Survival of the of Laos depends on interaction between wild and captive animals, as well as on the of elephant owners.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-survival-elephants-laos-economics.htm

Since the opening of the country to the market economy 20 years ago, the intensification of elephants' workload, notably for the timber industry, has heavily affected their reproduction. The elephant's long gestation period (22 months), followed by 2 years weaning, makes reproduction incompatible with work. In addition, the exportation of Lao elephants to neighboring countries for tourism purposes threatens the survival.

Researchers developed a bio-economic model to assess the long-term impact of socio-economic strategies on the viability of the species. This model includes a year-to-year estimate of the elephant population based on demographic data such as age, sex and location that were collected regularly by the Lao department of livestock, as well as fifty interviews focusing on elephant owners breeding practices. Projected over a period of 100 years, this individual-based micro-economic model simulates the elephant owners' decision-making process and raises a major issue: is breeding - the birth of an elephant calf - more profitable than working for the logging or tourism industries? Using several scenarios, scientists show that if current elephant exportation rates do not change, the population will tend to extinction. They also found that the development of a maternity-leave system to compensate the elephant owner's loss of income would remove the economic trade-off between breeding versus working and allow the captive population to depend mostly on wild population dynamics through the mating of captive females with wild males.

This study demonstrates the demographic impact of putting a price on a natural resource such as an elephant. Since the last twenty years, elephant owners' management practices have been mostly driven by their financial interests and on the monetary value of these animals. The research also highlights the importance of including both wild and captive populations into conservation policies because of their complex interactions notably through breeding that have been poorly studied. Survival of the of Laos depends on interaction between wild and captive animals, as well as on the of elephant owners.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-11-survival-elephants-laos-economics.html#jCp

Thursday, 09 April 2015 00:00

District of Livestock and Fishery, from the Lao Ministry of Agriculture, in Partenership with ElefantAsia provide ID books for all Lao elephants ! 

id book taille

Thursday, 12 February 2015 00:00

Dr Ann Derburg arrived in Laos in february 2015. She will replace Dr Emmanuelle Chave, who is leaving in march after two years with ElefantAsia in Laos. They will work together for one month so that the transition takes place smoothly.
The first emergency mission occurs a couple of days later. A camp near Luang-Prabang called for an elephant with diarrhea and colic. The clinical exam proved otherwise : this animal was suffering from intestinal obstruction after having been feed too much high fiber food in a short time span. We really feared for her life. After three days of appropriate veterinary care she improved markedly. We followed up by telephone, and she is doing well. Feeding at the camp will be revised accordingly.

Monday, 02 February 2015 00:00

A new female elephant was born at the Elephant Conservation Center on 19 January 2015 ! She's called Noy An and she's the first elephant birth in Laos for 2015 ! The mother Mae Kham Dee arrived in November 2014 at the ECC and she's well after the birth. Our veterinary team take care of the new baby elephant and her mother !

 newborn2

Sunday, 09 November 2014 17:28

Their article titled « Tuberculosis in Laos, who is at risk: the mahouts or their elephants? » has been published in Epidemiology and Infection Journal on July 30th 2014.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 00:00
Participation to the Elephant Workshop, Sosto Zoo, Hungary, 25-27 Aug 2014

On August 25th, Dr. Bertrand Bouchard and Josée Castonguay-Vanier from ElefantAsia participated in a 3-day workshop on elephant health and management held at Sosto Zoo in Hungary.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:00

For its second mission to Myanmar from 5 to 12 April 2014, ElefantAsia met potential partners for the implementation of a project to increase awareness within the local people to the plight of the endangered Asian elephant in Myanmar and need for immediate conservation action.

Tuesday, 07 May 2013 11:57

Congratulations to ElefantAsia's Ingrid Suter for her Doctorate and the publication of her Population Viability Analysis on Lao Elephants.