Elephant Database
African Elephant Specialist Group

Population Survey

Botswana
Phenotype: Savanna (based on geographical location)
Data contributed by reuben@refleqt.co.za, last updated 05/02/2016
Report restricted by data provider
98425 km²
Dryseason
Recorded at stratum level
Show aggregates
10027
Moremi
4911km²
3777
CH2 Chobe FR
1296km²
3001
CH7, 8, 11 and 12
3668km²
3604
CT1 and CT2
7294km²
1198
CT4 and 7
3725km²
11744
Ngwasha and Sepako
3044km²
891
Nxai Pan NP
2508km²
1667
NG8 West Okavango
5564km²
3319
NG12
972km²
455
NG13
2555km²
2194
NG22 Vumbra
573km²
624
NG25 Jao
601km²
4406
NG26 Abu / EBS
1738km²
3410
NG32 Stanleys
1213km²
615
NG35 South
2436km²
3436
NG37 Ngami
1930km²
5547
NG41 Mababe North
1181km²
3098
Nogatsaa
1818km²
743
Chobe River
1201km²
2238
Chobe Savuti
2084km²
4211
CH1 Chobe Enclave
1082km²
283
CH4 Kasane FR
470km²
990
CH5 N Plains
1453km²
2118
Sibuyu FR
2470km²
3220
Chinamba
4092km²
7912
Chobe Mababe
1410km²
54
Rakops
284km²
9005
NG10 and 11
5563km²
4402
NG14 A
1699km²
953
NG14 B
1138km²
2997
NG15 Linyati
1196km²
3893
NG16 Selinda
1361km²
1924
NG18 & 19 Khwai
1912km²
4750
NG20 & 21 Splash
1889km²
121
NG24 Jedibe
536km²
3641
NG29 Rann
1854km²
514
NG33 & 34
916km²
4933
NG41, 42 & 43
6838km²
941
NG35 North
533km²
This dataset comprises aerial sample count data from a survey conducted in the north of Botswana in October 2014. The survey was conducted using a Cessna 206, giving an estimated elephant population of 129 939 based on a coverage of 12.4% of the survey area of 98 425 km². In three strata, Rakops, Kazuma Forest Reserve (FR) and East Gweta, total counts were used, in which all animals are counted on transects spaced 2 km apart. These strata were small and consist of open grasslands, so wildlife was easily visible in 1-km-wide strips on either side of the aircraft. The overall population of elephants in the survey area remained quite stable between 2010 and 2014, with an increase of just 1.2% between surveys or 0.3% per year. It was noted that much of the change in elephant population numbers within the various survey strata may be due to movements by elephants across international borders and district boundaries within Botswana rather than reproduction or mortality. The all-carcass ratio was observed to be 6.9%. The estimated number of recent (MIKE category 1 and 2) carcasses was 123, producing a fresh-carcass ratio of 0.09%. Forty of these strata were previously surveyed by EWB in 2010 (Chase 2011). To increase the coverage of the elephant’s range in northern Botswana, the 2014 survey added nine strata in the southern and western portions of the study area in Ngamiland and in Central district, so that the total survey area was 34% larger in 2014 than in 2010. Much of the added area was south and west of the Southern Buffalo Fence, where low wildlife populations were expected. Compared to the 2010 EWB survey, the 2014 survey covered a larger area with slightly lower overall sampling intensity (12.4% in 2014 vs 14.4% in 2010). The decrease in sampling intensity is largely due to the addition of strata in Ngamiland and Central Districts that were sampled with 4 - 7% coverage. Nonetheless, using data from previous surveys allowed efficient allocation of sampling effort which led to more precise population estimates than in past surveys. The mean %CI for population estimates in the 2014 survey was 28%, versus 31% for the 2010 EWB survey and 32% for the 2012 DWNP survey. Thus, the 2014 survey produced the most precise estimates to date for wildlife populations in northern Botswana.
Source:Chase, M., Schlossberg, S., Landen, K., Sutcliffe, R., Seonyatseng, E., Keitsile, A., & Flyman, M. (2015). Dry season aerial survey of elephants and wildlife in northern Botswana: July – October 2014 (p. 160). Elephants Without Borders, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Botswana), Great Elephant Census.
IUCNSpecies Survival Commission

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