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Research Assistant, Department of Zoology
Habitat Manager and Elephant Researcher
Science Insight April 2001 - Science - The British Council United Kingdom
Grants List, Fiscal Year 1996
Dr. Raphael Ben-Shahar, Research Assistant, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, U.K..Elephants and their Habitats in North Botswana, Africa.
Dr Ben-Shahar's findings are potentially very significant, because several southern African countries, Botswana among them, argue that they have too many elephants, and that the animals' habitats and the species that share them are suffering as a result.
Conservationists often argue that in these circumstances it is best to control the elephants' numbers, either by moving them elsewhere or by killing them, before they starve.
But Dr Ben-Shahar says that in large nature reserves it is the environment that regulates elephant numbers rather than the reverse, with a stable but finely tuned ecosystem of plants and animals that works perfectly well on its own.
"There is no need to cull elephant herds to maintain an ecological equilibrium,"
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev