Ethics and Familiarity with Elephant Population Management

Date of Award

Spring 4-3-2020

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Erin Barding

Second Advisor

Royce Dansby-Sparks

Third Advisor

Stephen Smith


Biologists study population statuses because, while many species are considered healthy, others are overpopulated or vulnerable to extinction. Assessing the extinction risk for various species on earth can be a difficult task. The International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN) is the global authority in charge of assessing a species’ status and putting it on the “Red List” (Blanc 2008). This IUCN Red List uses scientific studies such as population assessments and threat assessments to properly label a species as least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, or extinct (NRDC 2016). Within these categories, least concern is considered the highest ranking with a healthy population and extinct is considered the lowest ranking meaning they no longer exist (Blanc 2008).

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