Eastern Thailand –
The Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation is planning to conduct wild elephant contraception in five provinces in the eastern region, including Chonburi, after the fertility rate has increased to 8 percent per year, causing overpopulation and disturbance in communities.
Phadet Laithong, director of the department’s Wildlife Conservation Office, addressed the problem of wild elephants in forest areas in five eastern provinces, namely Chachoengsao, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi, and Sa Kaeo, on Friday and said that the department had limited the habitat area for the wild elephants with sufficient food and water and would push back the herd that was living outside the area to the provided space.
Meanwhile, the Department was giving out information to the public about elephants’ behaviors and what they could do to help the animals back in the wild. One of them includes ‘human fences’ in which the local residents could report to the authorities if they spotted a wild elephant in a community area.
The Director also reported that the elephant population in Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary was about 270 elephants, according to a survey in 2018, while the total number of wild elephants in the forests of the five eastern provinces was about 423 elephants. However, the current birth rate is now at about 8 percent per year, resulting in a significant increase of wild elephants in five provinces significantly to about 470-480 elephants.
Therefore, the department and experts were considering controlling the birth rate in the areas. The procedure must not affect the social structure of wild elephants and must be carried out under academic studies.
“The amount of control depends on the structure of the population and the size of the forest…There are research guidelines to be taken into consideration. We tried to increase the forest abundance along with the area evaluation and estimation of the number of elephant populations and the forest areas,” Phadet added.
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