This submission details a ground total count survey conducted in the Thuma and Dedza-Salima Forest Reserves, Malawi, during November 2015.
A total of 517 km² was surveyed in 2 strata, providing an estimated elephant population of 132. The report notes that "We know of at least 3 identifiable adult bulls, which were not seen during this census, meaning that the known population 2015 is of at least 137 individuals. However, 2 herds of 5 elephants, seen in TFR (T8b) on November 4th and in DSFR (D2a) on November 5th, were of similar composition, so could be a double count. We therefore hold our conservative estimate to 132 individuals."
The total number of animals counted in 2013 compared to 2015 was down by 102, or about 20%. However, for a variety of reasons (weather, water availability, transect design), the authors do not believe that this indicates a decrease in our population numbers.
Source:Clifford, L. (2016). Wildlife Action Group - Animal Census 2015. Wildlife Action Group.