This report describes an aerial sample count survey conducted in southeast Angola during October and November 2015. A Cessna 182 and a 206 were used to cover the 10 strata totalling 43 459 km2, yielding an overall estimated elephant population of 3 395 (overall sampling intensity: 8%).
The report states that elephant surveys of 2004-2005 are the only wildlife surveys conducted in Angola since the end of the civil war (Chase and Griffin 2011). This survey expands the range of the previous survey by adding areas to the west and north where elephants have been reported to occur. At that time, ~ 1,800 elephants were estimated to occur in the Luiana PR, compared to 1,437 ± 600 in this survey. The difference between this estimate and the 2005 estimate is not significant because of the large standard errors (z = 0.46, P = 0.65). The 2015 carcass ratio for this area, however, was 34%, which suggests that the elephant population has recently declined from a higher level.
Observers estimated a total of 1,452 carcasses in the Angola survey area, of which 394 were “fresh” (categories 1 and 2, likely less than 1 year since death). This leads to an overall carcass ratio of 30.0 ± 0.4 % of the estimated total number of live and dead elephants, which is indicative of a very high level of mortality and an elephant population that is likely in steep decline. The carcass ratio for fresh carcasses only was 10.4 ± 0.4 %, which also indicates a very high level of mortality in roughly the past year.
The report notes that an additional 2,597 elephants were recorded in Namibia and Botswana, adjacent to the Angola study area. The authors estimated an elephant population of 1,389 in the Luiana Partial Reserve.
Source:Chase, M., & Schlossberg, S. (2016). Dry-Season Fixed-Wing Aerial Survey Of Elephants And Other Large Mammals In Southeast Angola (p. 84). Elephants Without Borders.