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Home range and movement patterns of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) in Gua Musang, Kelantan, Malaysia

ARHAM BAHAR, NUR HIDAYAH ABU KASIM, KAMARUL HAMBALI

Abstract


One young bull Asian elephant was fitted with satellite transmitters and
subsequently the satellite collar was used to determine the home range sizes and movement patterns, as well as human and ecological factors that have affected the home range size on highly fragmented forest landscape in Gua Musang, Kelantan. The home range sizes were estimated by using Minimum Convex Polygon for four months from the 25th of March to the 20th of June 2011. The total home range size for four months was 9,482,664m2. Among
the months, the home range size in March was 7,837,607.5m2, 5,199,931.5m2 in April, 5,528,927m2 in May, and 6,303,860m2 in June. The mean daily movement rate was 94.57m per day and the total movement distance for four months was 88,513m. The relationships between elephant movements and monthly rainfall, elevation, speed of movement and temperature were examined by using Geographic Information System. There was no correlation between average monthly home range sizes of elephant with the rainfall precipitation. However, there was relationship between average monthly home range sizes
of elephant with the elevation of the locations. Types of land uses had affected the elephant’s movements whereby elephant occurred predominately in rubber estate due to the consistency of food supply and water availability. Vast human development such as railroads and human settlements surrounding the home range has probably affected the home range size. The remaining forested areas in the home range need protection from expanding plantations and human developments.


Keywords


Asian elephant, home range, movement patterns, Gua Musang.

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