Causes of death and mortality rates

Survivirship Curve Southern Sea Otter

The causes of death and the mortality rates are notoriously difficult to estimate for most wild mammalian species, including the elephant. Carcasses in the field are usually putrefied, making it difficult to identify the cause of death, especially if a pathogen is involved. Juveniles in the population are usually under-represented in a collection of remains discovered thus, estimation of age-specific mortality rates for the younger age classes, vital for understanding population dynamics,...