Large population with nonrestricted habitat

A large population existing at a density much below the estimated carrying capacity of the habitat would be in an envious position. By large, I mean a size that would confer long-term demographic viability on a population. This would be in the range of 1,000-3,000 individuals for elephant populations. There are no known Asian elephant populations in this category, but there are several African ones with numbers, ironically, that have been greatly reduced by poaching. Examples would include the larger elephant ranges in eastern and central Africa, as well as in countries such as Zambia. Such elephant populations at relatively low densities can expand if given protection from poaching. Perhaps this should be the main thrust of management without any additional intervention to stimulate population recovery. In semiarid regions, the populations could still become locally overabundant eventually. This may also be an opportunity to regulate population growth through methods such as contraception.

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