The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) has an estimated stable elephant population of 227,900, a launched survey revealed recently.
Namibia is estimated to have 21,090, while Zimbabwe has 65,028, and Botswana with the largest estimate of 131,909, while Angola and Zambia have 5,983 and 3,840 respectively.
This was revealed last week, when leaders of the KAZA TFCA, led by Ministers from Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana and Namibia as well as heads of delegation from Angola and Zimbabwe, expressed optimism as they launched the results of the 2022 KAZA Elephant Survey.
KAZA TFCA includes Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe which have common international borders along the Okavango and Zambezi River basins.
“This survey comes not long after Namibia successfully held the first national human-wildlife conflict (HWC) Conference, where it emerged that there was an urgent need for robust scientific data to guide policy and decision-making including management of HWC,” Namibia’s Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Heather Sibungo said in a statement.
According to Sibungo, elephants are charismatic wildlife species that attract so much public attention and interest.
“Our KAZA TFCA supports the great number of the African Savannah elephants, and is an important global role player and a leader in the conservation of the species,” she said.
According to the Executive Director of the KAZA Secretariat, Nyambe Nyambe, the unprecedented aerial survey was undertaken to provide an accurate estimate of the number of live elephants, elephant carcasses, and other large herbivores in this region that is home to more than half of the savanna elephant herds in Africa.
“This rich data set now allows us to understand the health of our ecosystems and implement best practices for wildlife management and human-wildlife coexistence,” he added.
The survey was flown from August to October 2022 during the dry season when elephants can be more readily seen. Flights were tracked by EarthRanger for both safety and quality assurance purposes. The data captured was tracked and reviewed daily, and the full analysis was completed in early 2023 following which a peer review process was undertaken before the final publishing, a statement from KAZA.
Source : Economist