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Climate Change Affects Burmese Elephants: Study

29 January 2013

A study among Burmese elephants by the University of Sheffield found that climate change is threatening the endangered Asian elephant, which is already pressured by shrinking habitats and poaching. The study, posted on Ecology magazine’s website, studied data on more than 1,000 elephants in Burma at four sites collected between 1965 and 2000, and compared it with climatic data. A temperature increase was found to significantly affect elephant survival rates. “For elephants between 1 month and 17 years, maximal survival was reached at around 24C and departures from this temperature increased mortality,” the study said, adding that newborn and mature elephants fared better at even lower temperatures.