DOI: 10.3390/resources13010006 ISSN: 2079-9276

Assessment of Nutrients in Natural Saltlicks, Artificial Saltlicks, and General Soils Used by Wild Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus) in the Western Forests of Thailand

Rattanawat Chaiyarat, Salisa Kanthachompoo, Nikorn Thongtip, Monthira Yuttitham
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Saltlicks are fundamental resources for wild Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). This study aimed to assess the nutrients found in natural saltlicks (NSs) and artificial saltlicks (ASs), as well as general soils (GS) in the natural forest of Salakphra Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) and a restoration area of Kui Buri National Park (KNP), a which is a forest in Western Thailand. We monitored 33 NSs, 35 ASs, and 20 GSs used by wild Asian elephants. In both areas, the K, Mg, Fe, and Cu in NSs were significantly higher than in ASs. The Ca and Zn in NSs of KNP were lower than the ASs of SWS. The salinity of ASs was the highest, making it significantly higher than that of the NSs in both areas. The ASs can supplement Na, thereby increasing salinity in both areas. The Ca, K, Mg, Fe, and Cu in NSs were significantly higher than in ASs, making them a primary target for elephants. These findings have consequences for conserving elephants and other large herbivores by supplementing essential macro- and micro-nutrients in ASs.

More from our Archive