Elephant Baby Boom in Amboseli

Sun, 2008-05-04 08:58 by cmoss
Edwina and her calves

In general in Amboseli calves are born between December and June with a few outliers from July through November. In 2007 only six calves were born in the second half of 2007 with no calves at all born in December which was unusual. It is the third favorite birth month after March and April which have the highest rates.

By January we were beginning to wonder where the babies were. Finally one lone calf was born in January 2008 and then eight in February. It still seemed low to us, but we need not have been concerned because suddenly there was a deluge of babies—17 in March and 15 in April and we are still finding new ones every day. They are so tiny. One forgets how relatively small they are compared to say a one year old.

All the new calves are doing well. The older female calves in the families are lavishing the newborns with attention. They take their babysitting duties very seriously, and having been deprived of small calves to look after, they’re making up for lost time.

The last time we had a baby boom in Amboseli was during 1999 and 2000 and it was a result of particularly high rainfall in 1997-98, which covered an amazing El Nino period. The elephants responded to the good times by putting on fat reserves and getting pregnant. In 1999, 116 calves were born and in 2000, 114. Because elephants have a 4.5 year calving interval the next birth peaks were in 2003 and 2004. It wasn’t as strong a peak because rainfall was not outstanding. Normally, there should be a slight peak in 2007 and 2008, but this might not happen because rainfall has been poor over the last few years. During prolonged droughts elephants will extend the age of sexual maturity and increase calving intervals. It’s natural family planning.

With 41 calves born so far it’s a good start to the year, but we won’t really know if the peak will be strong until the end of December. In the meantime, we are all, elephants and people alike, enjoying the babies.

a Baby Boom,

Tue, 2008-05-13 02:19 by kenyaafrica

Dear Cynthia,

This is the first time I log into te blog and I think it’s a good way for us to learn what is going on in Amboseli.
How nice the baby boom in Amboseli, it is a blessing. EB family goes on growing, it is a good representative of the African families!.
As always, thank you for all the work you keep doing.
All the best and love to you, Katito, Norah y Zoila.
Laura Terán
Argentina

Great News!

Wed, 2008-05-07 20:06 by hosi67

Thank you so much for the wonderful news and photo, Cynthia!
Fingers crossed for good 'ellie baby year'!!
Siggi

Amboseli Wimbo

Mon, 2008-05-05 18:09 by africanrose

Dear Cynthia,
I admire the work that you are doing and wanted to thank you. There are many of us that know what you have done; you just don’t hear from us. There are others who don’t know, but if they did, they would be thanking you too.
I traveled to Amboseli 3 times and fell in love with the elephants and the beautiful land with its natives. I wrote a novel called "Amboseli Wimbo" and would like to send you a copy of the book. Many people tell me they want to travel to Africa after they read the book. Please let me know where I can send it to you.
Keep up the wonderful work!
Christy Carroll

Baby Boom

Mon, 2008-05-05 00:54 by Donna

Thank you, Cynthia, for the joyful news.

Great news

Sun, 2008-05-04 22:23 by hge

It is great to know that there is a elephant baby boom in Amboseli right now and all the new calves are doing well.
Thank you very much Cynthia.

Baby Boom in Amboseli

Sun, 2008-05-04 16:34 by niall anderson

Many thanks, Cynthia, for sharing such positive news with us. It's particularly uplifting to see Edwina continuing to lead such a normal life after the problem with her leg, focused on in Echo II. I think her first three calves were all females; what gender is her latest arrival, please?

Edwina's new calf

Mon, 2008-05-05 12:59 by cmoss

Edwina's calf, born on March 31, 2008, is another daughter, which is actually great for her. Ever since her injury and then after her mother died, Edwina was not well-integrated in the family and would often move on her own with just her three daughters. More recently, however, she seemed to have become more accepted in the family and now that she's had her new calf she is often right in the middle of the family and appears to be completely relaxed. Having yet another daughter, however, means that if she ever were to split off from the main part of Echo's family, she would have the makings of a potentially big family with four daughters eventually reaching adulthood and having calves of their own. Edwina's oldest daughter, Europa, should have her first calf in the next couple of years. Here is a breakdown of Edwina's immediate family with month and year of birth in parentheses:

Edwina (8-1982)
Europa (10-1995)
Elaine (12-1999)
Elana (1-2004)
New daughter (3-2008)

The Baby and Elana

Mon, 2008-05-05 21:30 by msowers

Edwina's new daughter is very cute and Elana is getting so big now! Soila had said she was kind of put out about not being the baby anymore, so it's nice to see in the picture that she seems to be adjusting to her new sister now. I hope she's being a good allomother.

Great news

Mon, 2008-05-05 16:20 by Pete666

Thank you Cynthia for the news on Edwina. It's good to know that she is doing well after her earlier trials.

Pete
Nolus Illegitemi Carborundum
If you've got it a TRUCK bought it

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