Population size vs. Age structure and Seasonal movement pattern of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana, Blumenbach, 1797; Elephantidae) in Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Eastern Ethiopia


  • Taye Lemma Geleta Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Girma Mengesha Hawassa University, Addis Zoo Park, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Sintayehu Workeneh Haramaya University, Ethiopia




African elephants, Age structure, Dung dropping, Movement pattern, Population size, Transect line


The focus of this paper is to study the population size and age structure of elephants, and their seasonal movement patterns in Babile Elephant Sanctuary (BES), Eastern Ethiopia. The study was carried out between May 2019 and April 2020. The population size of the elephant was estimated indirectly from the dung droppings using line-transect methods within a 42 km2 area; of which, each 12 km2 area in riverine and woodland, and 18 km2 in bushland habitats. The total estimate of the elephant population for the sanctuary was (230+20) or between (210 and 250). Besides, Elephant numbers were also estimated directly from sightings. The maximum number observed in a herd was 75. There was a declining trend for the past 49 years in the elephant population. The observed density for the whole sanctuary was 0.033 elephants per km2. In the elephant age structure, there were more intermediate (47%) and very few sub-adults (2.6%) size classes identified. The movement pattern of elephants was studied based on footprints, dung piles, and feeding signs The GPS recorded routes were marked on a geo-referenced map of the area using a GIS program (Arc map10.8). The result revealed that the present wet and dry seasonal movement patterns of elephants were noted following almost the Erer and Gobele valley routes in the oromia region of the sanctuary. Based on the study results, the following inference is drawn: identifying and documenting up-to-date information on population size and age structure, and seasonal movement of African elephants (i.e., the migratory routes and foraging areas for complete protection to maintain the animal's natural migratory patterns without disturbance) in BES is important to build gaps in knowledge for conservationists to design plans for restoring the species and sustaining the elephant’s existence. Therefore, strengthening the capacity of management and enforcing laws can minimize intimidation and enhance opportunities.  


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How to Cite

Taye Lemma Geleta, Girma Mengesha, & Sintayehu Workeneh. (2022). Population size vs. Age structure and Seasonal movement pattern of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana, Blumenbach, 1797; Elephantidae) in Babile Elephant Sanctuary, Eastern Ethiopia. International Journal of Scientific and Academic Research (IJSAR), EISSN: 2583-0279, 2(5), 1–22. https://doi.org/10.54756/IJSAR.2022.V2.i5.1



Section 2: Natural Sciences