Captive elephants in the country are used for a range of tasks. From hauling timber in the forests to blessing devotees in the temples, they do it all. In a first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the A.V.C. College, Mayiladuthurai, Tamil Nadu, and Dharmapuram Gnanambigai Government Arts College for Women, Mayiladuthurai, have explored how being forced out of their natural and instinctive behaviour affects these majestic megafauna.
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It is in the best interest of a tree to ensure that its seeds are dispersed to far off places where they can get good sunlight and nutrition to grow. This is carried out by the help of frugivores, who eat fruits and transport seeds in their gut. A recent study illustrates how irreplaceable elephants are as seed dispersers using computer simulation and three species of trees with large fruits. The study shows that in the absence of elephants no frugivores can disperse seeds as far or as efficiently.
Conserving wildlife seems to be the biggest concern for most ecologists who think habitat destruction, coupled with climate change, can spell doom for many animals on earth. The first step to know how badly a particular species is affected is by counting them. As simple as it sounds, counting populations, especially in the wild, is a daunting task. In addition to the sheer physical strain, social structures of certain animals like the elephants could result in errors in such population estimations. Now, a new study has leveraged the power of computer simulations to accurately estimate wild populations at the comfort of your desk.