Amboseli Elephant Longterm Observational Database

Sat, 2010-06-05 15:43 by hcroze · Forum/category:

The observational database of Amboseli elephant families and individuals is the core product and information base of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. It is a unique research product that contributes to making the Amboseli elephants one of the best known population of free-living large mammals in the world.

Collection and analyses of the data are continuous, on-going and have resulted over the years in numerous peer-reviewed publications (see the AERP Publication List).

Researchers are invited to apply for access to the data in writing to ATE. Please see the AERP Terms of Participation available as a downloadable pdf file at the bottom of this page.

Data Set Abstract

The main database (in Microsoft Access) comprises visual on-the-ground sightings by sixteen observers of (now) 58 elephants families of the Amboseli elephant population from September 1972 until the present (more than 2,500 individuals, some now deceased). Each record (n > 30,000) of the main table includes the following fields: date; time; daily record sequence; group type; location (by 1 km grid square and since 2000 by GPS UTM coordinate); habitat type at beginning and end of observation; group size; number of bulls; quality of the count; bull age classes; presence of musth males; presence of estrous females; activity of group; ID of observer; quality of individual recognition of females and males. Linked tables include: individual IDs; family IDs; habitat types; activity types; observer IDs. Ancillary databases include demography (dates of births, deaths, cause of death); rainfall (since 1972); watertable (since 1984); 10 vegetation plots; behavioral postures; digital photo IDs; vocalizations. Since 2002 a GIS database (in ArcInfo) has been maintained incorporating ca. 100 geographical, geo-physical, hydrological, vegetation and elephant distribution layers.

Geographic Description

Amboseli National Park, Kajiado District Kenya. Study area includes the ca 8,000 km2 Amboseli ecosystem (transboundary: Kenya and Tanzania). Administrative office in Nairobi.

Method Description

Daily reconnaissance drives in 4x4 vehicles on- and off track to locate and record elephant families in relatively open bushed and wooded grassland. Date recorded on pro-forma datasheets and entered daily into Access database. Ad hoc reconnaissance in low-flying light aircraft.

Extent of Study Description

Temporal: continuous and on-going since September 1972.
Spatial: observations concentrated in core of ecosystem, essentially the 390 km2 Amboseli National Park (2deg40minS, 37deg15minE).

Sampling Description

Ad hoc, adventitious search patterns guided by expert knowledge of elephant diurnal habits and constrained by park road system and topographic and hydrologic features.

Relational Database Structure

AERP Database structure
AERP Longterm Database Structure

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AERP_Participation_Terms_2010.pdf336.63 KB