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World’s largest elephant range found

Elephants in Mali's Gourma desert have adapted to living with little access to water.

By Vetstreet Dec 13, 2012 3:32PM

Using GPS tracking collars, researchers found that a group of Gourma elephants near Timbuktu travels 12,355 square miles through the deserts of Mali each year in search of food and water.

"It's incredible these elephants have survived,” said the study’s lead author, Jake Wall of the conservation group Save the Elephants, Kenya, and the University of British Columbia. “They have a truly stressful life with the lack of water and food, and their giant range reflects that."

Photo: Chyulu Smith // Elephants in Mali's Gourma desert have adapted to living with little access to waterAlthough the continent’s northernmost elephants don’t necessarily walk farther than East and Southern African elephants, their movements are spread out over an area 150 percent bigger than those reported in Namibia, and 29 percent larger than those in Botswana, the researchers said.

The study’s findings were published in the journal Biological Conservation.

Photo: Chyulu Smith // Elephants in Mali's Gourma desert have adapted to living with little access to water

— Read it at Live Science

Bing: Elephants in the news.

More from Vetstreet:
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