The elephant census is under way in the Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), after it started in Zambia’s Kafue National Park.
The survey will also cover Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Angola as conservationists attempt to count the elephant population.
In Zimbabwe, the census started in the last week of August and was expected to last three weeks before moving to Botswana.
KAZA said in a statement:
Plans indicate an anticipated three weeks to complete the northwest Matabeleland area in Zimbabwe before crossing over to Botswana, where flying is expected to start mid-October 2022.
As things stand, aggregated figures from the five KAZA members are that there are 220 000 elephants in the region in an area of 520 000km².
This figure represents about half of the remaining savanna elephants (Loxodonta Africana) found in Africa – a species that was red-listed as endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The survey will also seek to understand the elephants’ migration patterns across countries and factors such as climate change in the survival of the jumbos.
“The survey aims to determine the numbers and seasonal distributions of elephants, elephant carcasses, and other large herbivores,” the organisation added.
KAZA’s executive director, Nyambe Nyambe, said the survey was important because there will be an actual science-based blueprint for future conservation plans for the first time.
The survey is funded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Paul G Allen Family Foundation, German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, and the Dutch Postcode Lottery through the Dreamfund Project.
Other partners in the project are USAID’s Combating Wildlife Crime in Namibia, the Kavango-Zambezi Area Project, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Embarrassing how we are funded by foreigners for our own animals. And we stress when they get our minerals.
Also, at least it’s elephant census, I am aware people census has had people being beaten for asking family questions.
@Chiza just move away from animals. To people. Do you know that a Swedish company had to send someone to archive Zambian music at Znbc? Znbc was unworriedly losing these valuable Zambian recordings to decay. Certain classic Zambian songs are archived in South Africa not at znbc, because we couldn’t care less for them. That should show you how careless we become when we go into power with both eyes focused only on where the taxpayers’ loot is.
Why cant Africans fund their own surveys everything is foreign funded …you are happy to procure VIP cars for ministers and Directors but can not raise $1 million between yourselves.
As an endangered specie, I expect wild life authorities in the subject countries to have the necessary data on their fingertips through continuous monitoring of the elephants. This survey should just be an audit to verify already existing data. In Lower Zambezi there’s a high traffic of elephants between Zambia and Zimbabwe and I doubt if there’s a monitoring mechanism to tell which of those are Zambian and which are Zimbabwean. I think there must be large scale poaching in Angola because most the Lozi that wear ivory bungles claim to have bought them from sources in Angola. I think the reason that these governments don’t invest money in this sector is because they don’t know the real value of these natural resources
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