ABSTRACT Elephant management is highly controversial and any elephant‐related study is quickly seen as a pro or con for one of the usual elephant management practices (laissez‐faire, culling, contraception or metapopulation management). Managing water sources has also been suggested as one option, even though no experimental data exist. In a recent issue of Diversity and Distributions, Smit (2007) rejected this management tool as an efficient method to control elephant distribution and dynamics in Kruger National Park, South Africa. However, we believe that (1) Smit et al.'s conclusion is poorly supported by the available data, and (2) that this non‐intrusive management tool has the potential for being one of the few practices able to reconcile managers, scientists, and the public opinion in the never‐ending ‘elephant problem’. For these reasons, we believe that the strong conclusions of Smit et al. should be moderated.
Diversity and Distributions – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 2007
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