Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Rapid population growth in an elephant Loxodonta africana population recovering from poaching in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

  • Charles A. H. Foley (a1) and Lisa J. Faust (a2)

We studied the demography of a subpopulation of African elephants Loxodonta africana in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, from 1993 to 2005. The Tarangire elephants had been affected by heavy poaching prior to 1993. We monitored 668 individually known elephants in 27 family groups. The population increased from 226 to 498 individuals, with mean group size increasing from 8.4 to 18.3. The average annual growth rate was 7.1% (range 2.0–16.9%). This approaches the maximal growth rate for African elephants, with corresponding minimal values for demographic parameters. The mean interbirth interval was 3.3 years, mean age of first reproduction 11.1 years, average annual mortality of elephants younger than 8 years 3%, and average annual mortality of adult females 1%. Probability of conceiving was positively correlated with annual rainfall. No significant density-dependent effects were recorded. Rapid growth was aided by high rainfall, low population density and release from the stresses of poaching. These results demonstrate that elephant populations are capable of rapid population increases for extended periods of time given the right ecological and social conditions. This has consequences for elephant conservation and management.

Corresponding author
*Wildlife Conservation Society, P.O. Box 2703, Arusha, Tanzania. E-mail
Hide All
J.J. Blanc , R.F.W. Barnes , G.C. Craig , H.T. Dublin , C.R. Thouless , I. Douglas-Hamilton & J.A Hart . (2007) African Elephant Status Report 2007: An Update from the African Elephant Database. Occasional Paper Series of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, No. 33. IUCN/Species Survival Commission African Elephant Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

J.P. Klein & M.L Moeschberger . (1997) Survival Analysis: Techniques for Censored and Truncated Data. Springer, New York, USA.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

  • ISSN: 0030-6053
  • EISSN: 1365-3008
  • URL: /core/journals/oryx
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 18
Total number of PDF views: 93 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 647 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.