Can elephants and humans live together? | Environment | The Guardian
The relationship between humans and elephants has deteriorated since humans have Asian elephants; Human-wildlife conflict; Endangered species; African elephants .. Ecological restoration is a broad concept in ecology, as a matter of . View all notes Central Africa has lost more than half of its elephants in the last decade B. Another trend is evident in the increased abuse of elephants as objects of In the non-anthropocentric conception, the discussion of . Human relationships with other species commonly involve a kind of moral. habitats, landscapes, other species, and ultimately on ecosystems. I also argue that ; Pringle ; Haynes ), which gives rise to the idea of elephants as species, 2 African, the savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the forest . relationships, information transmission, and collective memory. Savanna.
Studies addressing mechanisms of speciation in animals have focused on Drosophila reviewed by Coyne and Orr The ability to sequence entire genomes and the variety of model systems in natural species of mammals where hybridization occurs but the integrity of the gene pool is protected Table 2 permits examination of speciation in mammals using methods such as those in chapter 2 of Coyne and Orr By our definition, these 2 phylogroups are genetic species if the integrity of the gene pools of the 2 phylogroups is protected.
Although this is a popular and useful definition, its application does not usually include evidence of separate evolutionary fates or isolation. Although there is overlap in the application of the Genetic Species Concept and Phylogenetic Species Concept in use of monophyly and sister-species status, in the application of the Genetic Species Concept proposed herein, there is greater emphasis on supporting data for isolation and proof that there is protection of the integrity of the gene pool.
Our definition is built upon 1 genetic speciation, 2 genetic definition of species, 3 genetically defined phylogroups, 4 evidence of protection or integrity of gene pools in the presence of hybridization, 5 significance of genetic differentiation in phylogroups that are not morphologically distinct, 6 the way genetic data offer better resolution than any other systematic database, 7 the way breakthroughs in genetic methods will result in DNA profiles that will be used to define species and species boundaries, and 8 application of genetic data.
Our position is that studies of these phylogroups through molecular methods will provide an opportunity to understand evolution of isolating mechanisms, role of ecological features in speciation, and many other poorly understood evolutionary phenomena. Our position is best described by Brookfield So, we should settle on our favorite definition, use it, and get on with the science.
Resolving power of the Genetic Species Concept The Genetic Species Concept provides a unique level of resolution for systematists to study the number of species and species boundaries. Toward this resolution, use of genetic data 1 can quantify genetic divergence from many different aspects of the genome mitochondrial and nuclear genes, protein-coding genes, regulatory genes, mobile DNA, microsatellites, chromosomal rearrangements, heterochromatin, etc.
Other conceptual considerations In addition to genetic versus reproductive isolation, there are some other points supporting the uniqueness of a Genetic Species Concept. First, there are additional implications from the Genetic Species Concept as related to other concepts, such as the Evolutionary Species Concept Simpson For example, the definition of Wiley Second, the so-called Barcode Species Initiative Hebert and Gregorythat a few hundred base pairs from a single gene from a few individuals can identify presence or absence of a species, has been highly criticized Ferguson ; Moritz and Cicero ; Roca et al.
SPECIATION IN MAMMALS AND THE GENETIC SPECIES CONCEPT
Conceptually, the Barcode Initiative cannot resolve presence—absence of species or the extent of isolation between 2 mitochondrial gene modifications without additional data to understand inter- and intraspecific variation within and between species.
Further, sole use of a mitochondrial gene does not resolve questions about hybridization, gene flow, and introgression.
With a proper genetic profile for all the species of concern, it will be possible to use a single metric to identify species; to determine boundaries of species and intraspecific variation and to insure the accuracy of implementation for the Barcode Initiative.
We propose that such a genetic profile is the most critical step in the application of the Genetic Species Concept. In the BDM model Gavriletsaccumulation of genetic changes in 2 separate populations results in 2 species. The following from Coyne and Orr Consider two allopatric populations that evolve independently. Each experiences many substitutions over long periods of time until the populations become distinct genetically.
Due to the catastrophic elephant damage, local people label elephants as agricultural pests and merciless killers. People sustain extreme damage from elephants in the form of life, property, and crops. The uncompensated and uncontrollable damage from elephants undermine the local population's efforts and desire to participate in elephant conservation.
Conservation and land policies hardly balance the needs of human and elephants adequately. The elevated high population of elephants outside protected areas increases the magnitude and frequency of elephant damage. As a consequence, local people label elephants as the most destructive agricultural pests because of the lengthy interactions and disturbances.
Under certain circumstance, it is hard to manage elephants because of their two debating representations; local people label elephants as agricultural pests while ecologists recognise Elephants as agents of ecological restorations.
In this matter, each conflicting part has strong reasons, beliefs, and experiences upon the stance. In this article, reviewers summarised the existing state of knowledge about elephants as agricultural pests and agents of ecological restorations, and synthesised findings from those publications, by forming articulated arguments, discussion, and conclusion about whether elephants are agricultural pests or agents of ecological restorations.
A Proper understanding of societal and environmental stance helps conservationists and local people formulate appropriate plans and policies for sustainable elephant conservation. Material and Methods Reviewers used several publications to obtain crucial information about elephants, agricultural pestsand ecological restorations. In this article, we identified and used basic features of pests as yardsticks for branding any animal as an agricultural pest.
In a similar way, reviewers used guiding principles of ecological restorations as benchmarks for labelling any species as an agent of ecological restorations. Before confirming whether elephants are agricultural pests, authors matched the essential features of pests with those of elephants to determine if they match. For comparison purposes, we identified and selected several destructive agricultural pests in the world basing on their damage severity to crops, and fatalities to humans and livestock.
Moreover, we compared elephant damage to crops and property and deaths to people and livestock to the selected disastrous agricultural pests. Before acknowledging whether elephants are the most disastrous pests or not, the magnitude of elephant damage and fatalities were presumed to be more than those from selected disastrous agricultural pests. On the other hand, we used ecological and societal features as benchmarks for scrutinising Elephants as agents of ecological restorations.
Are Elephants the Most Disastrous Agricultural Pests or the Agents of Ecological Restorations?
The guiding principles of ecological restorations were matched to elephants to ascertain their roles in ecological restorations. Their discovered ecological roles were, furthermore, analysed for their contributions to direct and indirect contributions to societal needs. Before the literature search, the reviewers formulated the following three questions: Are elephants the most disastrous agricultural pests?
The questions provided a guideline for searching relevant publications. Computerised and the non-computerised extensive search was conducted to identify and located relevant publications to answer review questions.
To obtain as many publications as possible elephant conservation, pest management, ecology and wildlife databases were extensively searched. Reviewers searched for books, governmental and non-governmental reports, articles and conference proceedings.
Google scholar and the web of science were used to search for relevant publications. Due to an inadequate number of relevant publications, reviewers included comparative studies to obtain answers to questions.
- Genetic Data and Species Recognition in Mammals
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Relevant studies were selected according to minimum acceptable requirements. The assessment and acceptance criteria based on the relevance and strength of their answers to review questions. Furthermore, the studies were assessed basing on their contribution to theories and knowledge in the areas of elephant damages, ecology, and pest management. Selected studies provided adequate answers to review questions. Due to the complication of summarising research findings from studies with different study design, reviewers opted to summarise some results narratively and few in tables.
The web-based search obtained 50 studies. We used 30 publications to answer three questions. Of which, five publications linked elephants directly to agricultural pests and ten mentioned indirectly elephant as pests.
Furthermore, to provide a relevant response to each guiding question, selected publications were organised into three sections. Are elephants agricultural pests? Commonwealth [ 24 ] have explained that any animal that feeds crops, damages buildings, damages stored food, injures people and kills livestock, is the pest. In this context, pests include vertebrates and invertebrates undomesticated animals.
Two distinct clades seem to have formed 6 million years ago. The first clade included the hypothetical ancestor of savanna and forest elephants. The two seem to have diverged sometime during the miocene-pliocene transition 5 million years ago. The second clade includes Asian elephant and the now extinct woolly mammoth. It is important to note that these two diverged from their common clade later than savanna and forest elephants diverged from theirs, making them genetically closer to each other than the two species of Loxodonta.
Africa has been shown to be the cradle of all elephantid species 3. Asian elephants then migrated to Asia and the African savannah elephant began to dominate the expanding grasslands of East Africa.
Forest elephants followed their independent evolutionary path in the dense Central African forests.