Status of elephant population
In the 19th century, Asian elephants could be found throughout Peninsular Malaysia (except on Penang Island). However, their distribution has been severely reduced over the decades and are now confined to small and fragmented areas. To effectively conserve and manage elephant population, information on underlying factors affecting their past and current distribution is required to inform management actions. Hence, we used an interdisciplinary approach – interview survey, to map the present and past Asian elephant distribution in human-occupied landscapes in Peninsular Malaysia to identify and prioritize the remaining elephant habitat. In the meantime, we are embarking on a research to find out the population of elephants (using molecular genetic tools) in forested areas in the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia, as well as a focus study on elephant habitat suitability across forested areas in Peninsular Malaysia.