Do climatic changes and seasonal variation in the environment influence health, survival and reproduction?
We can link the individual based year-to-year follow-up records of the elephants with annual variation in climate or other external factors.
Elephants of all ages have highest survival in months with mid-range temperatures (around 24°C) and high rainfall. Because calves and old elephants have the highest mortality rates, climatic conditions affect them the most. The excess of deaths in hot months is associated with an increase in deaths from infectious disease, whilst in the coldest months, the number of deaths attributed to weakness is high.