Indian elephants form groups of only males to survive

An article in Scientific Reports describes an unusual behavior implemented by Asian elephants. According to the researchers, young specimens living in India tend to form ever-larger groups made up of males only, something that would increase their chance of survival.

Researchers, who have analyzed various elephant communities in India, have discovered that they perform this behavior in response to increasingly difficult conditions in this region. The elephants of south-east Asia, especially those in India, must in fact face more and more the attempts of killing carried out by humans, due to poaching or to people who intend to exploit a piece of land for cultivation or to cases that see animals invade inhabited areas.

To respond to these increasingly dangerous living conditions and to a habitat that is becoming ever smaller, male elephants have adapted their behavior by forming groups of males, the only ones that seem to move away from the areas most sheltered differently from the females and the smaller ones, which evidently remain safe.

The study was carried out when several reports of large groups of adult male elephants were carried out in various areas of India.

The researchers found that the more dangerous an area is for a young male elephant, the more these groups, real elephant bands, become large.

This means that groups of elephants in inhabited areas, which are forming due to a necessity attributable to the same survival, are becoming increasingly larger and this also poses a danger to the inhabitants themselves.