Behavior of Translocated Elephants

Despite the rapid decline in the global population of African elephants over the latter part of the last century, there have always been areas where there were too many elephants,and where ecosystems suffered due to elephant damage. For many years, the South African government has been moving -- or translocating -- elephants from areas where they are overpopulated into areas where the habitat can accommodate them.

Dr. Bill Langbauer has collaborated with Jozua Viljoen, of the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, and others, in the first ever study of how these moves affect the behavior of elephant family groups.


Preliminary results indicated that elephant families cause little unsustainable damage to the environment -- leaving elephant bulls as the culprits. These results contributed to a reevaluation of elephant management strategies, as these strategies have centered around family groups, and not bulls.