CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                                    WHO WE ARE   ELEPHANT LANGUAGE             FOREST ELEPHANTS    ...
CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                                             WHO WE ARE   ELEPHANT LANGUAGE             FOREST ELEP...
CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                                    WHO WE ARE   ELEPHANT LANGUAGE             FOREST ELEPHANTS    ...
CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                                                   WHO WE ARE          ELEPHANT LANGUAGE           ...
CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                  WHO WE ARE   ELEPHANT LANGUAGE          FOREST ELEPHANTS          IN THE FIELD   ...
CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                  WHO WE ARE        ELEPHANT LANGUAGE             FOREST ELEPHANTS           IN THE...
CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE                    WHO WE ARE    ELEPHANT LANGUAGE              FOREST ELEPHANTS           IN THE ...
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Elepant Listenign Project

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Elepant Listenign Project

  1. 1. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOPLISTEN.LEARN.DISCOVER.ELP is not just about elephants, butis also about people: researchers,supporters, colleagues, and friends,who together make ELP happen. < 1 2 3 > LEARN MORE ABOUT US Explore the world of the forest elephant by checking out our video libraryJUST FOR KIDS THE ELP VIDEO IN THE FIELDBegin your journey through the forest with our View our video introduction Exprience our most recent adventures with theinteractive learning center. elephants in Africa. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  2. 2. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOPWHAT WECOULDN’T HEAR,WAS ALWAYS THERE.ELP has discovered complexcommunication between elephants.Like humans, they are able to alert,express and inform eachother ofvarious information through methodsthat we cannot hear. < 1 2 3 > LEARN MORE ABOUT US Explore the world of the forest elephant by checking out our video library JUST FOR KIDS THE ELP VIDEO IN THE FIELD Begin your journey through the forest with our View our video introduction Exprience our most recent adventures with the interactive learning center. elephants in Africa. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  3. 3. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOPTHEY AREMORE LIKE USTHAN WE THINK.Elephants have complex relationshipslike we do. They develop parentalintincts and bonds just like us. We aremore alike than we think. < 1 2 3 > LEARN MORE ABOUT US Explore the world of the forest elephant by checking out our video libraryJUST FOR KIDS THE ELP VIDEO IN THE FIELDBegin your journey through the forest with our View our video introduction Exprience our most recent adventures with theinteractive learning center. elephants in Africa. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  4. 4. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOP In some ways, the Elephant Listening Project began at the on the elephant’s lives by recording their vocal exchanges and learning Portland Zoo in 1984, when Katy Payne felt (more than heard) to identify the contexts in which certain calls are used. In 1999, Katy and the low-frequency rumbling communication of two Asian several colleagues founded ELP to further theuse of acoustic methods elephants, a male and female, who were standing on opposite to study and aid in the conservation of forest elephants in Central Africa.WHO WE ARE sides of a concrete wall. In the following years, Katy and a group of dedicated colleagues demonstrated that elephants The Elephant Listening Project is a not-for-profit organization associated often communicate using sounds below the threshold of with the Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) at the Cornell Lab of human hearing, that these sounds carry over vast distances, Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. Since its inception, ELP has depended and that elephants use vocal communication to bind their on financial support from a diversity of governmental and non- complex family social system together. Katy describes the governmental organizations, private donors and BRP. fascinating trajectory of her interest in elephant communication in the delightful book Silent Thunder: In the Presence of Some of the earliest research was focused on characterizing low- Elephants. frequency communication in savannah elephants, but increasingly the One of Katy’s insights was that we could perhaps ‘eavesdrop’ focus has been on forest elephants in the rainforests of Central Africa.THE TEAM < > KATY PAYNE PETER WREGE MYA THOMPSON MODEST DOUCKAGA A lifelong naturalist and amateur Peter became the director of the A member of the Elephant Listening Modest has been observing and musician, Katy began her career Elephant Listening Project (ELP) in Project since its inception in 1999, Mya identifying elephants in Gabon for studying the evolving songs of the January 2007. A behavioral ecologist, took a break to study for a PhD and more than five years. As part of the humpback whale. She shifted her focus Peter has made Ithaca his base for have two babies! Her research focused Wildlife Conservation Society elephant to elephants in 1984, when she and more than 30 years, but has been on improving acoustic monitoring research team, he has been the key two colleagues discovered infrasonic fortunate to work for long periods of methodologies for African forest person establishing a database of calling in elephants by recording time in the field, observing animals in elephants and understanding the role elephant identities for Langoue Bai, at a zoo. The studies that followed their natural environments and trying vocal signals play in maintaining their Ivindo National Park. Modest is now from this discovery have shown that to understand what makes them tick. social system. She was awarded her working with Nico Bout in the Bateke elephants use their low-frequency calls Although he has worked in such exotic doctorate in September 2009. region, teaching new researchers about to coordinate their social behavior over places as Venezuela, Panamá, and the elephant observation and identification. long distances. She founded ELP in Galapagos, his eight years of research 1999, and was the leader of the project in Kenya, East Africa, were particularly until 2006, when she officially retired. influential. He is very happy to be back Katy is now writing a book about forest in Africa to carry on ELP’s research elephants, and continues to play a program in the equatorial rainforests of critical role in all ELP’s activities. the Congo Basin. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  5. 5. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOPELEPHANT LANGUAGEACOUSTIC CONSERVATION HEARD BUT NOT SEEN - ACOUSTICS AND OVERVIEW RAINFOREST CONSERVATIONINFRASOUND Animals in rainforests present a special challenge for conservationistsELEPHANT GREETINGS As we consider the size of elephants’ sensory world, because they are difficult to monitor. the timing as well as the frequency and power of their However, if the species uses soundTHE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE vocalizations turns out to be important. The propagation to communicate, acoustic monitoring may be an effective tool for estimatingELEPHANT TALK of very low frequency sound varies with atmospheric abundance and population trends conditions, which change on a diurnal schedule. On a over time.TOOLS OF THE ACOUSTIC typical dry season evening in the savannah a temperatureTRADE inversion forms, potentially increasing the listening area of elephants as much as ten-fold -- from 30 km2 at midday to 300 km2 in the same evening (Larom et al. 1997). In light of this fact it is interesting that savannah elephants make most of their loud low-frequency calls during the hours of best sound propagation (Ibid.). We do not know whether this is an innate or opportunistic response to fluctuations in Z Aerial view of Congo Basin Rainforest the size of their communication area, but in either case it The dense habitat makes counting is clear that as the area shrinks and expands, so does the elephants from a plane impossible. Counting elephant calls instead is a viable network of potential associates and mates. alternative. Infrasound is sound below the level of human hearing. The discovery that elephants use infrasound in communication led from a hunch Katy Payne had when she was working with elephants in Washington Park Zoo in Portland, Oregon. She was studying communication, when in addition to the rumbles she could hear, she thought she felt, rather than heard, other rumbles. She suspected these were infrasonic rumbles. Further work with William Langbauer, Jr. and Elizabeth Thomas showed that the elephants were indeed making infrasonic calls. Subsequent studies, in association with Joyce Poole, William Langbauer, Cynthia Moss, Russell Charif, Rowan Martin and others, took place in Kenya, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, and led to the conclusion that elephants use their powerful deep calls in long distance communication. Z © Andrea Turkalo Natty2, an adult male forest elephant, This finding offers a solution to many old mysteries about enters the Dzanga forest clearing in the elephant society, particularly the mystery attending the Central African Republic ability of males to find females for breeding, and the ability of separated family groups to coordinate their patterns of movement for weeks at a time without losing communication or converging on the same scarce resources. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  6. 6. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOPELEPHANT LANGUAGEACOUSTIC CONSERVATION HEARD BUT NOT SEEN - ACOUSTICS AND OVERVIEW RAINFOREST CONSERVATION Animals in rainforests present aINFRASOUND special challenge for conservationists because they are difficult to monitor.ELEPHANT GREETINGS As we consider the size of elephants’ sensory world, However, if the species uses sound NEXT to communicate, acoustic monitoring the timing as well as the frequency and power of their may be an effective tool for estimatingTHE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE vocalizations turns out to be important. The propagation abundance and population trends of very low frequency sound varies with atmospheric over time.ELEPHANT TALK conditions, which change on a diurnal schedule. On aTOOLS OF THE ACOUSTIC typical dry season evening in the savannah a temperatureTRADE inversion forms, potentially increasing the listening area of elephants as much as ten-fold -- from 30 km2 at midday to 300 km2 in the same evening (Larom et al. 1997). In light of this fact it is interesting that savannah elephants make most of their loud low-frequency calls during the hours of best sound propagation (Ibid.). We do not know whether this is an innate or opportunistic response to fluctuations in Z Aerial view of Congo Basin Rainforest The dense habitat makes counting the size of their communication area, but in either case it elephants from a plane impossible. is clear that as the area shrinks and expands, so does the Counting elephant calls instead is a viable alternative. network of potential associates and mates. Infrasound is sound below the level of human hearing. The discovery that elephants use infrasound in communication led from a hunch Katy Payne had when she was working with elephants in Washington Park Zoo in Portland, Oregon. She was studying communication, when in addition to the rumbles she could hear, she thought she felt, rather than heard, other rumbles. She suspected these were infrasonic rumbles. Further work with William Langbauer, Jr. and Elizabeth Thomas showed that the elephants were indeed making infrasonic calls. Subsequent studies, in association with Joyce Poole, William Langbauer, Cynthia Moss, Russell Charif, Rowan Martin and others, took place in Kenya, Namibia, and Zimbabwe, and led to the conclusion that elephants use their powerful deep calls in long distance © Andrea Turkalo communication. Natty2, an adult male forest elephant, enters the Dzanga Z © Andrea Turkalo forest clearing in the Central African Republic Natty2, an adult male forest elephant, This finding offers a solution to many old mysteries about enters the Dzanga forest clearing in the Central African Republic elephant society, particularly the mystery attending the ability of males to find females for breeding, and the ability of separated family groups to coordinate their patterns of movement for weeks at a time without losing communication or converging on the same scarce resources. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  7. 7. CONTACT US | CONTRIBUTE WHO WE ARE ELEPHANT LANGUAGE FOREST ELEPHANTS IN THE FIELD FOR KIDS NEWS BLOG SHOPFOREST ELEPHANTSFOREST ELEPHANTS FOREST ELEPHANT INFANTSELEPHANT ECOLOGYELEPHANT SOCIETYELEPHANT FAMILIESBABY ELEPHANTSUNIQUE THREATS TOFOREST ELEPHANTSACOUSTIC CONSERVATION Grabbing the towbar! © Melissa Groo < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 > One of the joys of studying forest elephants in the field is being able to watch the infants. Perhaps it is because elephants are so large that the miniature form of a baby is so arresting. Our researchers have been privy to many magical moments in the field, both endearing and amusing. Some of these have been captured on film, and you can see a selection of these if you click on the Photo Gallery tab below. Elephants have the longest gestation period of all mammals - 22 months, and they produce a calf only once every 2.5 to 4 years. This lengthy time interval allows the mother to devote the attention that the calf needs in order to teach it all the complex tasks of being an elephant, such as how to use their trunk to eat, drink and wash, and what to eat. Elephant babies weigh about 105 kilograms (232 pounds) at birth. They can stand up and move around almost immediately, which allows the mother to roam around to forage, and is essential to avoid predation. The calf suckles using its mouth (its trunk is held over its head). The tusks erupt at about 16 months. Calves are not weaned until they are about 4 or 5 years old. At this time, the tusks are about 14 cm (5.5”) long, and begin to get in the way of sucking. Female forest elephants, and juveniles of both sexes live in small family groups, and the arrival of a new infant is always a source of great interest to the females in the family. They help the mother to guard and watch out for the infant; for example if a predator approaches, they will all circle the infant to protect it. WHO WE ARE FOR KIDS SHOP ELEPHANT LANGUAGE ELP NEWS CONTRIBUTE FOREST ELEOHANTS BLOG CONTAT US IN THE FIELD Copyright © 2011 Cornell Lab of Ornithology

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