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Wild Elephant Satellite GPS Collaring Program

Locations and dates of GPS collars fitted on six wild elephants inside the Way Kambas NP in July-August 2020

From the monitoring activities conducted by the ERU teams in the northwest and southern part of the WKNP, decent knowledge exists about some of the wild elephant groups and how they utilize the parts of the WKNP close to its borders. However, no continuous monitoring of individual groups throughout an entire year has been conducted, and no data about how the different elephant groups migrate throughout the year and which areas of the WKNP they use has been gathered yet. Furthermore, there is very limited knowledge about elephant groups and habitat utilization by the elephants in the northeastern and eastern parts of the WKNP.

Therefore, in order to improve the capacity for wild elephant monitoring, and to better understand their movement patterns, interactions between different groups, habitat utilization, and home range sizes, as well as improving the capacity for anticipation and prevention of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC), the WKNP authorities, in collaboration with KHS/CSNC decided to deploy six satellite GPS collars on wild elephants from different groups inside the WKNP. 

The collaring team. Photo: KHS/CSNC

The six GPS collars were deployed on wild elephants between 18th of July– 8th of August, 2020, 5 collars were fitted on adult female elephants from different groups, and one collar was fitted on an adult male known to frequently leave the WKNP during the night time to forage on crops from surrounding farmland. Since the collars have been deployed much data has already been provided about the movement patterns, migration routes, and home range sizes of the different elephant groups. Furthermore the anticipation and prevention of HEC has improved.

Preparing the sedative drugs and darting the wild elephant/ Photo: KHS/CSNC

Fitting the GPS collar on the wild elephant in deep standing sedation/ Photo: KHS/CSNC

Checking fit and position of the collar; Injecting a long acting antibiotic to prevent infection and development abscess from the dart wound; injecting antidot to reverse the sedation. Photo: KHS/C

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