1 Tahrcountry Musings: Tracking Pygmy Elephants in Borneo

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Tracking Pygmy Elephants in Borneo

Five Pygmy elephants collared by WWF and Malaysia's Wildlife Department in Sabah, with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service are being tracked by the same satellite system used by the US military to track vehicle convoys in Iraq. The pygmy elephants were determined by WWF in 2003 to be a likely new subspecies of Asian elephant but very little is known about them, including how many there are. They are found only on the Northeast tip of Borneo, mainly in the Malaysian state of Sabah. Since elephants live in matriarchal societies, WWF collared only adult female elephants so that each elephant collared represents a whole herd’s movements. The Sabah Wildlife Department described the study as very important and the results could be used to assist the department in preparing Sabah’s elephant conservation plan.

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