KAZA elephant survey report
Partner countries, WWF team up – The survey is “a vital conservation initiative aimed at estimating the population size of elephants and seasonal distribution of elephants and elephant carcasses as well as other large herbivores”. Ellanie Smit
The final report on the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) elephant survey is expected to be released to the public by latest June.
The survey was undertaken by the five KAZA partner countries – Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe – and with support from the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other partners.
In an update regarding the survey, the KAZA TFCA secretariat said it is a vital conservation initiative aimed at estimating the population size of elephants and seasonal distribution of elephants and elephant carcasses, as well as other large herbivores.
“The data collection phase was successfully completed at the end of October 2022, covering an extensive area of 312 000 square kilometers, or 60% of the landscape during two months of flying.” The project subsequently moved into the preliminary data analysis phase, which took place in November and December last year, it said.
“To assist with the accurate and comprehensive analysis of the vast amount of data collected during the survey, KAZA partner states seconded six ecologists to work at the project’s operations room located at the regional office of the wildlife and national parks department in Kasane, Botswana.” The team of ecologists conducted the preliminary data analysis under the oversight of the KAZA elephant survey team.
The secretariat added that currently the coordination team is in the final stages of analysis and preparing the technical report, which is expected to be completed this month or in April.
Independent review “After review by the KAZA partner states, the report will undergo an independent review by three experts. The report will be prepared in accordance with requirements of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) aerial survey reporting standards.” The KAZA secretariat expects to release the final report to the public in May/June. It is estimated that about 220 000 African savannah elephants live in the KAZA landscape – or more than 50% of the total remaining population of this species. Unfortunately, the elephant is endangered due to poaching for its ivory tusks, habitat loss and human-elephant conflict.
Despite its importance, long-term elephant conservation in the region has suffered from the absence of coordinated elephant management approaches among the five KAZA partner countries and reliable population data, the secretariat said. – email@example.com