Cardamom Mountains Elephant Survey

Why is this project so important?

The Cardamom Mountain Range, situated in Southwest Cambodia was internationally recognised in 2000 as one of 36 biodiversity hotspots across the world threatened with destruction. Covering nearly two million hectares, the Cardamom Mountain Range is the single largest area of forest left in South-east Asia and is home to a wealth of fauna and flora including Indochinese tigers, Pileated Gibbons, Siamese Crocodiles and Asian elephants.

There are currently an estimated 400-600 wild elephants remaining in Cambodia, with the main concentration located within the Cardamom Mountains. In order to better aid elephant management and conservation initiatives, it is vital that Cambodia's elephant population is thoroughly assessed and understood. 

Project partners: Fauna and Flora International (FFI) & Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group (CECG)

Duration: 2015 - February 2017

Cambodian elephant population: 400 - 600

Project goals

1) Estimate the size of Asian elephant populations within the South Eastern Cardamom Mountains landscape

2) Better understand population trends

3) Inform future monitoring programmes and management responses

4) Support communities to mitigate human-elephant conflict 

What we do

Elephant Family, in collaboration with our partners in the field;Fauna and Flora International (FFI) and the Cambodian Elephant Conservation Group (CECG), have made large strides in the estimation of the Asian elephant population size in the South-eastern Cardamom Mountains Landscape and the mitigation of human-elephant conflict within its surrounding communities. Through a partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland we were able to analyse elephant dung samples in order to determine the age and sex of the elephants and also build national capacity within Cambodia for genetic analysis. This analysis was complimented by deploying camera traps within the forests which enabled us to learn more about ranging patterns, habitat use, and seasonal patterns of the elephants within the landscape.