This dataset comprises dung count line transect data from a survey conducted in the Bia Conservation Area, Ghana, during June 2009. The survey estimated an elephant population of 146 (95% c.i. 98 - 172) within the 306 km² survey area. The report notes that Sam et al. (2006) counted 126 elephants in a dung survey of the park in 2004, but since then no effort has been made to determine the size of this elephant population or monitor changes in distribution.
50 x 1 km transects were walked, totaling an estimated 50 km in a single stratum. Dung density was estimated as 452 per km² (95% c.i. 396 - 596; CV 13.5%). It should be noted that meandering rather than straight transects were walked: in a predetermined compass bearing but with the stated intention of avoiding excessive cutting of vegetation. The report does not discuss any biases that such a technique might create.
A dung decay rate of 54.64 days was estimated from a survey conducted earlier that same year in the same area, while a defecation rate of 18.07 was used from Hedges & Lawson (2006). The dung decay survey was unusual in that fresh dung was marked but not revisited until 67-70 days later, at which point it was assigned a binominal response (decayed or not decayed) following the Hedges & Lawson (2006) classification. No repeated visits were conducted.
Source:Danquah, E., & Oppong, S. K. (2014). Survey of forest elephants Loxodonta cyclotis (Matschie, 1900) (Mammalia: Proboscidea: Elephantidae) in the Bia Conservation Area, Ghana. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 6(11). http://doi.org/0.11609/JoTT.o3722.6399-405