Definition of Contraception

From the elephant glossary Section: reproduction

Relevant Literature about Contraception
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Birth control, also known as contraception, anticonception, and fertility control, is the use of methods or devices to prevent unintended Pregnancy.

Contraceptive vaccines have been found to be effective in a number of different animal populations.
Contraception in zoo and other animal populations is used to prevent certain animals from breeding.

For some animals, like cats and dogs, it doesn't work at all. For African elephants, it is 100 percent effective.
The specific brand of immunocontraception used in elephants–and most other animals–is called the porcine zona pellucida vaccine, or PZP.
The vaccine is administered to animals by darts that can be shot from the ground or the air. Each dose of PZP costs about $35, $24 for the dose and $11 for the delivery system. For small Herds the vaccines are delivered by darts shot from a car. Larger Herds are often treated by helicopter.

Contraceptives are now being successfully used to prevent elephant overpopulation in South Africa. Approximately 75% of all breeding-age female elephants outside of the greater Kruger National Park had been successfully treated with immunocontraceptives in 47 reserves to prevent overpopulation.

2019-India: In July 2019, Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has introduced an Immunocontraception Project for population management of 4 Species of wild animals like Elephant, Wild boar, Monkeys and Blue Bull (Nilgai). As per a survey report around 2,398 people got killed due to elephant - attacks between 2014 and March 2019.
Immunocontraception is a birth control method that employs the body’s immune response to prevent Pregnancy. The technology leads to the formation of a protein around female animal’s eggs to prevent fertilization. The Wildlife Institute of India and the National Institute of Immunology are developing a protocol of this pilot project in Uttarakhand.

Contraception information is available on-line at the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center’s web site at

Reference list Koehl, Dan, (2024). Contraception. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 20 September 2021 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications
  • Stuart L. Pimm, Rudi J. van Aarde , African elephants and contraception,

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Categories glossary | reproduction

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