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Laura Klappenbach

Genetic Monitoring for Borneo Elephant

By November 30, 2012

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Conservationists working to save the rare Borneo elephants from extinction have identified a set of genetic markers that will help them better monitor the elephant's genetic diversity and, in turn, better protect the species.

There are less than 2000 Borneo elephants that remain in the wild and the entire population is restricted to the north of the island. The Borneo elephant, Elephas maximus borneensis, faces threats of habitat destruction, land degradation and habitat fragmentation. The Borneo elephant is a subspecies of Asian elephant. It is smaller and has straighter tusks than its larger cousins.

The identificaiton of genetic markers for the Borneo elephant enables conservationists to monitor the species' genetic diversity using fewer samples and less extensive testing. This reduces the amount of money spent on monitoring and increases funds for other conservation objectives.

Photo © Rudi Delvaux / DGFC.

Comments

December 6, 2012 at 3:52 pm
(1) JOSEPH says:

I believe the Ceylonese subspecies is the largest and has areas lacking skin pigment. also many of the males are tuskless.This is odd since the Bornean subspecies is also from an island,but have notable differences in size and appearance.Maybe food sources have a factor in this.

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