Domesticated Elephant Advanced Registration (DEAR)
The Lao PDR is one of the Asian elephant’s range countries afforded the least amount of conservation management, population assessment, veterinary care or governance. An estimated 1,000 – 1,200 elephants remain in Laos. Wild population surveys are rudimentary with population counts recognized as baseline assessments only. More is known of the domesticated elephant population, of which there are an approximate 460 elephants remaining in Laos. ElefantAsia works in collaboration with the Department of Livestock and Fisheries (DLF) to provide the best healthcare, registration and employment options for elephants and elephant owners. ElefantAsia recognized a clear need for enhanced Asian elephant registration in Laos. Paper registration was proving to be duplicative and inefficient, with some elephants having multiple registration papers while other registration papers were lost in provincial offices. This meant a proper elephant census was unattainable and elephants with ongoing health issues were not followed though with appropriate attention. Microchipping the entire domesticated elephant population of Laos was seen as the best management option. Many Asian elephant range countries have already seen the benefit of microchipping domesticated elephants, with five out of 13 nations microchipping captive populations.