This report summarises the aerial total count of elephants conducted in the Kruger National Park in August 2015. 17 086 elephants were recorded across the 19 485 km² area of the park, an increase of 4.2% per annum since 2003. Two helicopters were used to conduct the survey, which divides the park into 21 blocks.
The report notes that poaching had little effect on the elephants living in Kruger National Park with between zero and 22 elephants poached during any year. During 2015, however, it noted an increase in elephant poaching and expect that elephant numbers may be impacted through poaching in future.
The lower population growth rates of elephants in the park were ascribed to the change in management policy of SANParks towards managing landscapes rather than numbers of elephants since 1994.
Source:Ferreira, S., Greaver, C., & Simms, C. (2015). Elephant Management Update (02/2015): Elephant survey of the Kruger National Park (p. 7). South African National Parks.