This submission documents the aerial survey of the Gambella National Park and surrounding areas conducted in April 2015. A total of 19 366 km² was surveyed in 5 strata (2 sample counts, 3 total counts) using a Cessna 208.
An elephant population of 550 was found in the total count 'Elephant and Giraffe' stratum. The report notes that this is a bigger population than in 2013 survey (550 vs 337), and ascribes the difference to the increase of the effort in the TC in this block, following the recommendations of the previous survey in 2013.
The report states that three other sightings were made while flying the sample count (SC) over the central area (B1). One individual was seen near the B3, which was most likely part of the larger groups observed in the total count. One large group of 50 and one group of 6 elephants, south of Pachala village, between Alweru and Akobo River were observed. The authors suggest that this finding could indicate the possibility that more elephants may be found in this region, and that they are possibly also crossing into South Sudan as the collared elephants have been doing.
Only two very old elephant carcasses were observed during the survey. One appeared to have been poached. Both were located in very close proximity to the herd of fifty elephant that was observed south of Pachala village.
Source:Mònico, M., & Schapira, P. (2015). Aerial Survey: Gambella NP and Surrounding areas, Dry season, April 2015 (p. 52). IGAD/BMP.