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How forest elephants move depends on water, humans, and also their personality

By John Poulsen, Associate Professor of Tropical Ecology, Duke University
Christopher Beirne, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of British Columbia
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African forest elephants roam the dense rainforests of West and Central Africa where they subsist largely on a diet of fruit. They shape forests by dispersing fruit and seeds, browsing, and creating an extensive trail network.

But because it’s difficult to track animals in thick forest, little is known about the movements of the African forest elephant. This is troubling as poaching of forest elephants for their ivory as well as habitat fragmentation have decimated their populations over…


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