PhD dissertation. GRADUATE DIVISION of the UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY
A variety of challenges face the conservation of African elephants, stemming from the illegal poaching for ivory to habitat loss resulting in range restriction. Solutions to these challenges require information on the factors affecting population structure, movement and reproduction in this species. In this dissertation, I investigate the relationship between ecological variation and population processes in the wild elephant population inhabiting the Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves in northern Kenya. Both empirical analyses and theoretical approaches are presented, motivated by fundamental questions regarding factors influencing population structure and by applied objectives concerning the management issues facing this species. In addition, this work presents novel analytical techniques for defining and understanding population structure.