Biodiv Sci ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (2): 202-209.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2014247

• Original Papers: Animal Diversity • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimating population size and genetic diversity of Asian elephant in the Shangyong Nature Reserve

Changhuan He1, Yu Zhou1, Lifan Wang2,*(), Li Zhang1,*()   

  1. 1 College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University; Key Laboratory of Biodiversity and Ecological Engineering, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875
    2 Shangyong Sub-reserve of Xishuangbanna National Nature Reserve, Mengla, Yunnan 666300
  • Received:2014-11-27 Accepted:2015-02-11 Online:2015-03-20 Published:2015-04-09
  • Contact: Wang Lifan,Zhang Li


Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is a first class protected species in China. Estimation of the population size and genetic variability is crucial to the management and conservation of this species. A genetic survey was conducted using multi locus genotyping of noninvasively collected fecal samples of the Asian elephant population in the Shangyong Nature Reserve, Yunnan Province of China. Amplification of 185 fecal DNA samples by 7 microsatellite primers resulted in a total of 59 unique genotypes. The average number of alleles was 3.86, the average observed and expected heterozygosity and polymorphism information content (PIC), was 0.52, 0.42 and 0.34, respectively. Accumulation curve method and capture mark re-capture were used to evaluate the population size. Results indicated that the population size in Shangyong Nature Reserve was 76 ± 8 (from 67 to 99 individuals, 95% confidence interval). Overall, a moderate level of genetic variability was observed in the Shangyong population, which was similar to a population in the Mengyang region.

Key words: Asian elephant, microsatellite, accumulation curve method, capture mark re-capture method, population size, genetic diversity