Elephant population control is a critical conservation issue facing most of southern Africa.  Many parks and reserves are experiencing an overpopulation of elephants relative to their land area resulting in serious habitat destruction.  Current options for population management include translocation, culling, and injectable contraception, all of which have pros and cons and none of which is applicable to every reserve or park. Wildlife officials are urgently seeking effective and humane methods of elephant population control as an alternative to culling.

The EPMP Mission:

Our mission is to benefit ecosystem health by providing wildlife managers with a safe, effective, non-lethal, and humane tool for managing their free ranging African elephant populations.  We attain this mission through the development and utilization of new surgical technologies in reproductive sterilization including laparoscopic vasectomies, which will help manage elephant population growth and, in turn reduce the need for lethal control.

Habitat destruction

Elephants are herbivores and spend up to 16 hours a day eating plants. Their diets are highly variable, both seasonally and across habitats and regions. Their diet is primarily made of leaves, bark and the fruits of trees and shrubs although they may also eat large quantities of grasses and herbs.  Because they digest only about 40% of what they consume they must eat a very large quantity of food.  An adult elephant consumes about 5% of their body weight or 140-270 kilograms (300-600 pounds) of food and approximately 30-50 gallons of water daily!