Both Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants are important keystone, umbrella and flagship species. Paradoxically, world population numbers of both species are declining in many of their natural ranges due mainly to poaching, while over population of elephants in some areas is resulting in serious human-elephant conflict, and modifications of natural habitats that impact biodiversity. Understanding mechanisms of reproductive control is vital to effective population management, and for that reason significant advances have been made in endocrine and ultrasonographic monitoring techniques, particularly in studies of elephants ex situ. However, there remains a need to develop new methods to control ovarian activity, both for enhancing and inhibiting reproduction, to maintain population numbers at levels that ensure species survival and their ability to safely cohabitate with humans and other species. We present an overview of reproductive monitoring methods and how they have contributed to our knowledge of elephant reproductive biology, as well as their application for in situ and ex situ conservation purposes.
Thitaram, Chatchote and Brown, Janine L. 2018. Monitoring and controlling ovarian activity in elephants. <i>Theriogenology<i>, 109: 42-47. doi:10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.12.009