As part of the country’s largest ever elephant survey, 1,300 dung samples have been collected in Mondolkiri province in an effort to ascertain how many of the pachyderms remain in the province and where they live.
Rachel Crouthers, biodiversity technical monitoring adviser for World Wildlife Federation Cambodia, said researchers took samples from three areas in the province and will produce a unique analysis of Asian elephant populations in Mondolkiri.
“This landscape-wide survey spanning three protected areas (Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary, Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Seima Protected Forest) will produce the first estimates for the entire Eastern Plains Landscape within Cambodia,” Ms. Crouthers said via email.
“Results…will help us understand more about the elephant population’s characteristics such as population size, movement patterns, corridor use for the entire landscape, [and] will be crucial in protecting this regionally important population of this endangered and charismatic species,” she said.
The number of wild elephants in the country is currently unclear, Ms. Crouthers said, with estimations ranging from 250 to 600.