Wildlife researchers from the Mondulkiri provincial Department of Environment and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Cambodia) have recently completed collecting 85 Asian elephant dung samples for analysis to identify population size and migratory patterns.
It is estimated that about 300 elephants live in the protected areas of the province.
Provincial environment department director Keo Sopheak told The Post on August 23 that four years ago researchers had collected data on elephants in the province. But in 2020, further research was conducted and studies have only just been completed. The recent dung samples will provide additional information.
“We are conducting DNA analysis at the Royal University of Phnom Penh to understand how many Asian elephants are in the protected area. Analysing the dung can also reveal migratory patterns,” he said.
He added that most elephants inhabit the Srepok and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuaries in the province. According to a survey, the number of elephants in the province is estimated at 300.
“With the assistance of partner organisations, such as WWF-Cambodia, we can maintain a budget . . . to conduct research and collect data on rare and endangered species, including Asian elephants, leopards and banteng,” he said.