This dataset comprises aerial sample count data from a survey conducted in north-west Matabeleland, Zimbabwe, in October 2014. The survey was conducted using a Cessna 206, giving an estimated elephant population of 53 991 based on a coverage of 7.1% of the survey area of 24 959 km². This population estimate is not significantly different from the number of elephants estimated in the previous comparable survey of 2001. The all-carcass ratio was observed to be 7%. If it is assumed that all unidentified carcasses were in fact elephant carcasses, then the all-carcass ratio increases to 8.2%.
The report notes that wildlife in north-west Matabeleland was also surveyed during 2007 (Dunham et al. 2007), but that the results of that survey might not be directly comparable, given that it was conducted relatively late during the year and rain fell during the survey. With that caveat noted, the estimated elephant population in the 2007 survey was 39765 (95% c.i. ± 16.4 %) and the estimated total number of elephant carcasses (2563) represented 6.1 % of the estimated total number of live and dead elephants. This all-carcass ‘ratio’ may be compared with the ratio of 3.2 % recorded in the same area during 2001.
Source:Dunham, K. M., Mackie, C. S., Nyaguse, G., & Zhuwau, C. (2015a). Aerial Survey of Elephants and other Large Herbivores in north-west Matabeleland (Zimbabwe): 2014. Harare, Zimbabwe: Parks and Wild Life Management Authority.