South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
Elephant contraception is increasingly being identified as a solution to the problem of growing elephant numbers in conservation areas. As a result, it is now being incorporated into elephant management and policy in South Africa. We point out that elephant contraception may have numerous physical, social and ecological side-effects. These side-effects should be identified in advance and their implications incorporated into elephant contraception programmes, in line with the protocols of adaptive management. This provides the opportunity to learn from the process, and may help avoid some of the mistakes made in the course of elephant culling.