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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The secretion of the temporal gland of the African elephant Loxodonta africana as an elephant repellent

Published source details

Gorman M.L. (1986) The secretion of the temporal gland of the African elephant Loxodonta africana as an elephant repellent. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 2, 187-190


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Use target species scent to deter crop damage by mammals to reduce human-wildlife conflict Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated, controlled study in 1985 of shrubland in Limpopo, South Africa (Gorman 1986) found that compounds mimicing secretions from African elephant Loxodonta africana temporal glands did not deter feeding or otherwise change elephant behaviour. The rate of sniffing by captive elephants of hardboard pieces into which five scent compounds were absorbed (1–18 times/elephant/hour) did not differ from that for hardboards treated with carboxylic acids (2–15 times/elephant/hour). The rates fell for all boards over the 10-day study. Boards hung directly over feeding troughs did not deter elephants from feeding. Wild elephants exposed to aerosols containing scent compounds or carboxylic acids did not change behaviour. Seven captive elephants, 9–12 months old, held in three pens, were exposed to secretions or carboxylic acid absorbed into hardboards fastened to the sides of pens. Boards were re-treated every two days. Lone wild bull elephants were exposed to scent compounds (18 times) or carboxylic acid (nine times) mixed with water and administered as aerosols. The study was conducted in July–August 1985.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)