A new census headed by Kasane-based Elephants Without Borders will strive to count populations of wildlife in 22 different countries in Africa.

The project, funded by the Paul Allen Foundation, is revealing important data about the state of wildlife in these countries, what pressures they face, and what can be done to assist with their declines.

aircraftThe team has already surveyed key areas of Kenya and they are now headed to Ethiopia for a month-long census there. A very important leg of the census will take place in July where the team will be surveying the KAZA (Kavango-Zambezi) Transfrontier Conservation Area.

The KAZA project is looking to link conservation areas in 5 different Southern African countries – Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namiba and Botswana – and ensure the freedom of wildlife to pass between these borders where necessary.
kaza map
The area to be included in the broad KAZA conservation area

Victoria Falls and Chobe are right at the centre of the KAZA system, with big herds of elephants and other wildlife moving between the areas. Africa Albida Tourism welcomes the findings from the census and looks forward to better understanding the movements of animals in the surrounding areas of Victoria Falls and Ngoma Safari Lodge.

Says Dr. Mike Chase from Elephants Without Borders:

“Accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants should be at the heart of all conservation efforts,” and that is the data we’re gathering with the Great Elephant Census. By using standardized aerial surveys and covering hundreds of thousands of square miles across the continent, we are taking the first toward saving one of our greatest assets – elephants.”

elephants

According to Kelly Landen of Elephants Without Borders, the team plans on covering all of the known and potential elephant ranges in the KAZA area. EWB is flying a large portion, but in parts of Namibia and Zimbabwe there are hired consultants who will cover some areas and two other organizations will cover some areas of Zambia.

“The census will definitely assist in helping to identify key areas/habitats,” Kelly says. “including wildlife corridors and what problems might be impeding conservation efforts.”

From : Africa Albida Tourism

18 April 2014