The total aerial count was carried out in the Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem. 15 light aircrafts were used over a period of six days, covering an area of 48 600 sq km. The average search rate was 143.15 sq km p/h.
“The blocks were redesigned to address challenges previously encountered, regular counting blocks that are easily navigable were established. The average block size was set at 900km, which was calculated to be the average area a plane would comfortably survey within six hours at maximum. There were 68 blocks in total, each block was assigned to one aircraft with crew comprising of the pilot, front seat observer, and two rear seat observers in the case of four seater light aircraft and a pilot and an observer for two seat light aircraft.” p3
The data was captured in the various blocks, however reported on per ecosystem type, or by the old reporting blocks. For the study area 42 blocks were surveyed.
A total of 11, 217 elephants were counted in the entire Tsavo-Mkomazi conservation area which was a drop of 10.34% compared to 2011 elephant results. Most of the elephants were counted inside protected areas with a population of 9,605 (85.63%) showing an increase of 9.81% as compared to 8,747 elephants counted in 2011. A total of 857 elephant carcasses were counted in Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem in 2014. This is an increase of 51.15% compared to 567 elephant carcasses recorded in 2011.
Source:Kyale, DM, Mukeka JM, Kimitei KK, Munyao, MN,Lala FO (2014). Tsavo-Mkomazi Total Aerial Census for Elephants and Large Animals. A technical Report for Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya