KAZA Elephant Survey Reveals Insights for Transboundary Conservation Efforts

Rorly Sherwen's picture
22 February 2024

On August 31st, 2023, Ministers responsible for wildlife management from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe convened in Livingstone, Zambia, to unveil the highly anticipated 2022 Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Elephant Survey report. This report, a culmination of synchronized efforts among KAZA Partner States, marks a significant milestone in the conservation and management of the world's largest single elephant population.

Initiated as part of the 2019 KAZA Strategic Planning Framework, the survey aims to harmonize conservation efforts across the Partner States, addressing the challenges faced by the vast elephant population spanning the KAZA region. The framework underscores the importance of transboundary cooperation and standardized methodologies to ensure accurate data collection and comparability across the landscape.

Key highlights of the survey include:

  1. Population Estimate: The survey revealed an elephant population of 227,900, signaling an increase of over 10,000 compared to previous estimates.
  2. Precision: Achieving a relative precision of ±7.34% demonstrates the soundness of the survey design.
  3. Elephant Mortality: The survey indicated a high carcass ratio, emphasizing the urgency of investigating unnatural mortalities and strengthening conservation efforts.
  4. Wildlife and Livestock: In addition to elephants, the survey provided estimates for various wildlife species and highlighted the growing pressures on water and rangelands due to the interface of  wildlife and domestic livestock.

Beyond its scientific significance, the survey holds immense potential to shape policy and management measures at both transboundary and national levels. Ministers pledged to translate the findings into actionable policies, legislation, and detailed action plans, while also acknowledging the need for internal reviews to address challenges and capitalize on opportunities arising from the survey.

Acknowledging the contributions of various stakeholders, including the KAZA Secretariat, technical experts, and international partners, the Ministers expressed gratitude for the visionary leadership of Heads of State and the resolutions of the Kasane Elephant Summit. The survey, funded by a coalition of donors and international partners, underscores the importance of collaborative and non competitive efforts in wildlife conservation.

For more details: https://www.kavangozambezi.org/kaza-elephant-survey/

For more information about the KAZA Elephant Survey, please contact Dr. Nyambe Nyambe on nnyambe[at]kavangozambezi[dot]org