Friday, 12 July 2019

Young Asian elephants form all-male groups to survive


JULY 8, 2019 REPORT
by Bob Yirka , Phys.org
A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in India has found evidence of young Asian elephants forming all-male groups as a way to survive. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the group describes their study of the elephants in different parts of India, and what they found.
Asian elephants are not doing well—as humans increasingly encroach on their territory, elephants find survival more difficult. Some die due to poaching, but others are killed when they damage croplands or wander into populated areas. The researchers with this new effort report that some of the young male elephants have been adapting their behavior to give themselves a better chance of surviving—they have been forming groups instead of hanging out alone.
In the past, as male elephants grew old enough to become sexually mature, they would wander away from their families and head off alone into the wild. Typically, they would look for an area with enough food and locally available, sexually mature females. But now, conditions are changing, the researchers report—instead of heading off alone, young males have started joining up with other young males, forming groups.


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