The number of Asian elephants is decreasing at an alarming rate, primarily because of increasing of human population and elephant’s natural habitat destruction, and it may soon (or already) reach the level where high levels of inbreeding are inevitable. Although established populations of domesticated- and semi-domesticated elephants exist, captive breeding is poorly successful due in large part to inadequate knowledge of the underlying physiology and resulting inappropriate management
The project is based around a network of veterinary faculties and institutes in the EU (the Netherlands and UK) and Asia (Thailand and Sri Lanka). The main objective of the project is to develop human resources from Asian institutes. This will be achieved by academic training of staffs and students, strengthening linkages between institutes and disseminate knowledge acquired by Asian partners within their own, and neighboring countries. Throughout the project, preservation of domesticated- and semi-domesticated elephants will be used as a focus with clear and lasting benefits to the participating countries and, of course, Asian elephant holders all over the world. Specific actions include:
Postgraduate students from 3 Asian institutes will follow veterinary training programmes on specific problems related to elephant health and reproductive management, and conduct their research projects both in Asian and EU countries. The students will work toward M.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degree and will be jointly supervised by scientists both from Asia and the EU based on EU standard. - Development of curricula for 2 M.Sc. courses on zoo and wildlife animal health sciences. - The project will train staffs and in so doing activate the multiplier effect of “training for trainers” program
- Strengthening the links between Asian and European partner universities
- Development and exchange of knowledge and innovative technologies
- Improving the skills of veterinarians and veterinary support staff
- Improving of health, reproductive management and sustainability of (semi)-domesticated Asian elephant populations.
- Establishing a network for Asian elephant conservation