• he Myanmar Timber Industry has kept detailed records of the health and life events of each timber elephant for over a century, which we are computerising to study the population demography.

How?
We utilise a unique extensive (>8500 individuals up to 5 generations) demographic dataset on timber elephants in Myanmar collected from elephant logbooks and annual extraction reports continuously archived and maintained by the Myanmar Timber Enterprise for the past century. Led by Dr Mar, we have built an individual-based dataset covering the full life-histories of successive generations of captive timber elephants born or captured throughout Myanmar from 1925 to the present. State ownership of thousands of elephants enables us to transfer data of all registered elephants from the logbooks to a database containing a chronology of the captive population. This database assigns a unique ID number to each elephant and records their sex; capture time and location if wild-captured; their birth date and maternal identity if captive-born; all reproductive events; their death dates including their cause of death. Logbooks also often contain measures of birth size and subsequent height, as well as data on workload.  We hope to digitise these and the bi-monthly reports of each elephant’s health (vet inspection of working ability and lifelong record of any diseases, medical conditions or problems encountered and treated) to combine the vital rate data with changes in health across life. Such data for a long-lived natural population of animals is unique and even rare for humans.

Findings