The Lives of Animals Research Group

The Lives of Animals Research Group

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ELEPHANTS (Loxodonta africana)



Elephants (Loxodonta africana) are an iconic feature of the Botswana landscape. They benefit greatly from conservation efforts touting their vulnerable status and in turn contribute significantly to the tourism industry. Yet elephants cause problems in Botswana (home to some 150,000 elephants) by eroding habitat, threatening biodiversity, destroying agricultural crops, and injuring humans. Needless to say, there are many perspectives on the pros and cons of elephants in the region.

Allison Mayberry joined our research team in September 2013. She has a B.Sc. in Biology and is interested in community issues related to wildlife conservation; she spent a year promoting ethical futures for captive Asian elephants in the Thai tourism industry. Allie's project focuses on human-elephant well-being in the Boteti Region of Botswana with fieldwork taking place from May through August 2014. She has disseminated information to key stakeholders through an infographic (here), as well as a publication in Conservation and Society (2017) and academic presentations in the USA and India.

Allie’s research is generously funded by an Ontario Graduate Scholarship and the Care-A-Thon Animal Welfare Research Scholarship from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. The project is supported by a research permit from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. We are collaborating with Dr. Kate Evans' research team of behavioural ecologists working with elephants in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park; Dr. Evans is a member of the University of Bristol Mammal Group and founder of Elephants For Africa.


Mayberry, Allison, Alice J. Hovorka, and Kate Evans. 2017. Well-Being Impacts of Human-Elephant Conflict in Khumaga, Botswana: Exploring Visible and Hidden Dimensions. Conservation and Society.15(3):280-291.

Mayberry, Allison. 2015. Human Dimensions of Human-Elephant Conflict in Botswana: Exploring Visible and Hidden Well-Being Impacts (Unpublished masters thesis). Department of Geography, University of Guelph, Guelph Canada.


Mayberry, Allison (presenter) and Alice J. Hovorka. 2015. Human-Elephant Relations in Botswana. Paper presented at the AAG Annual Meeting, Chicago USA.

Mayberry, Allison (presenter) and Alice J. Hovorka. 2015. Social dimensions of human-elephant conflict: A case study of Botswana's Boteti region. Paper presented at the Minding Animals 3 Conference, New Delhi India.