Escape jumbo blues


Everyone has different ways of dealing with stress. Some indulge in binge eating, some exercise. Elephants abandon their home for a long time. Between 2000 and 2006, researchers from University of Missouri in the US measured levels of metabolites of glucocorticoid hormones, which are associated with physiological stress, and land use patterns for three different elephant populations in Africa. They found that the populations with chronic stress used 20-43 per cent less of their habitat. They generally selected forest and woodland habitats over grasslands. Chronic stress and refuge behaviour could be linked to management problems, like habitat destruction, says lead researcher.


Down To Earth, March 2012