Wild elephants live in groups of related females and the timber elephants too spend the majority of their time foraging freely in family groups. We investigate how the elephants interact with their relatives and whether this improves their life prospects.
We use the individual-based demographic database to investigate how the presence or absence of relatives is related to calf survival and subsequent breeding success. We use information on friendships and numbers of potential helpers (“aunties”) for the contemporary mothers to link this with their calf health, growth and survival.
Watch this space in the near future!