The status of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations in South Africa

Pretorius, Yolanda, Garai, Marion E and Bates, Lucy A (2018) The status of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations in South Africa. Oryx. ISSN 0030-6053

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With an increase in poaching of elephants (Loxodonta africana) across Africa, it is vital to know exactly how many elephants remain and where they occur, to ensure that protection and management are planned appropriately. From a nationwide survey, we provide current population and distribution data for elephants in South Africa. We consider the viability of elephant populations in the country, as well as some of the management techniques implemented and how effective these are in controlling elephant numbers. According to our surveys, there were 28,168 elephants in South Africa as of December 2015, with 78% of these occurring in the Kruger National Park (KNP) and reserves bordering and open to the Park. Of the country’s 78 discrete that host elephants, 77% have populations of <100 elephants, which could mean they are not genetically viable. We discuss our findings in terms of the conservation value of South Africa’s elephant reserves, and the animal welfare implications. We recommend that the current fragmentation of elephant habitat in the country be addressed through a national elephant management strategy that promotes wildlife corridors between existing, neighbouring elephant reserves.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: elephant, welfare, South Africa, population, fences, contraception
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL0001 General Including geographical distribution
Q Science > QZ Psychology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Dr Lucy Bates
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2018 14:55
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 14:17

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