Conservation efforts


Immunocontraception: Fertility control for African elephants through GnRH vaccination


Prof. Henk Bertschinger (University of Pretoria)
Prof. G.van der Horst (University of the Western Cape, South Africa)
African Elephant Research Unit (AERU)
Knysna Elephant Park, South Africa


South Africa


Overpopulation of African elephants in the enclosed South African national parks as well as the countless private reserves is a hot topic since many years. To avoid culling of surplus animals, population control can be achieved by contraception. Effective, save, cheap and easy to apply methods without long- term or side effects are highly warranted. The GnRH vaccine is a repeated injection which reduces gonadotrophin activity. We test the application of this vaccine in South Africa to stop uncontrolled reproduction and to protect habitats from overpopulation.


International Elephant Foundation; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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