Elephant Culture Matter for China’s Asian Elephants Conservation

Yongjing Tang (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Zhengling Li (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Guilian Jiang (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Ting Lv (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Lei Zhang (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Wenlan Zhao (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Gaofan Zhu (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)
Mingyong Chen (Yunnan Asian Elephant Field Scientific Observation and Research Station of the Ministry of Education, Kunming 650500, School of Ecology and Environmental Science, Yunnan University, Kunming 650500, China)

Abstract


Traditional anthropogenic impacts such as hunting, using as war-elephant, trading of ivory, paying tribute to the imperial court and so on, were once thought to be directly responsible for the rapid decline of Asian elephants in China. But in Yunnan Province, China, a unique human factor such as the traditional elephant culture of local ethnic minorities, is an important factor in the conservation of Asian elephants. In these areas, we investigated by means of village interviews, field surveys and data collection, the results show that the elephant culture of ethnic minorities has a great impact on people's thoughts and behaviors, these traditional culture and belief (that mean taking elephant as the God, holding elephant as a belief, worshipping elephant and praise it) urges people to actively protect elephants and avoid more human-elephant conflicts. To enhance the public awareness of Asian elephant conservation, the Chinese Government or international environmental organizations should give higher attention and support to these elephant cultures. 


Keywords


Asian elephant; Elephant cultures; Ethnoecology; Conservation Biology

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jzr.v2i2.2072

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Copyright © 2020 Yongjing Tang, Zhengling Li, Ting Lv, Lei Zhang, Wenlan Zhao, Gaofan Zhu, Mingyong Chen


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