This dataset comprises aerial sample count data from a survey conducted in the Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe, in November 2014. The survey was conducted using a Cessna 185, giving an estimated elephant population of 1 585 based on a coverage of 7.6% of the survey area of 3 496 km². This population estimate represents an 8.7% per annum increase in the elephant population 2001 - 2014. These figures compare with the 2015 total count of 1490 elephants by Jooste & Lenton, who estimated an increase in elephant density of nearly 0.25 elephants per km² during 2013-2015, representing an annual growth rate of approximately 15%.
The all-carcass ratio was observed to be 4.1%. If it is assumed that all unidentified carcasses were in fact elephant carcasses, then the all-carcass ratio increases to 22.6%. However, many of the unidentified carcasses may well be rhinos, given that the Save Valley is an Intensive Protection Zone for rhinos, and rhinos have probably been poached well in excess of any elephant poaching to date.
Source:Dunham, K. M., & van der Westhuizen, H. F. (2015). Aerial Survey of Elephants and other Large Herbivores in Gonarezhou National Park and Save Valley Conservancy (Zimbabwe): 2014 (p. 114). Frankfurt Zoological Society.