Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Elephants in Africa need more habitats

As the latest study showed new roads built across central Africa are additional threat to Africa's endangered elephants that are quickly losing their habitats, and are forced to settle into smaller and smaller habitat areas, and of course more roads will bring more poachers. What is particularly worrying is that researchers found how forest elephants have already adopted a "siege mentality" forcing populations to become increasingly confined and isolated, which means that elephants live in fear. Of course more isolated means more problems with their protection.

Researchers observed 28 elephants equipped with GPS collars and found that roads, especially the ones outside of protected areas, have become end point to elephant movements. Just one of the 28 elephants crossed a road outside of a protected area and it did so at 14 times its normal speed as these wonderful animals are frightened for their lives. On one hand this new elephant strategy will make things more difficult for poachers but it will also decrease the total amount of available food since their territory is significantly shrinking.

Elephants are forced to smaller and smaller habitat areas mostly because of the new roads.

The scientists warned governments to move roads away from African wilderness, in order to at least give elephants peaceful home in deep African forests so they would not live in such fear for their lives. Elephants are very intelligent animals and they can sense that their lives are on stake so they now live in fear. This fear has very good chance to be accompanied with starvation, disease, massive stress, infighting, and social disruption which could will make conservation efforts very difficult.

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