Elephant Database
African Elephant Specialist Group

Botswana
Provisional African Elephant Population Estimates: update to 31 Dec 2013

All Years for Botswana: 201620132007200219981995

Since the 2006 survey of Botswana's elephant range, four major elephant surveys were conducted in 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Due to the very different results from the first two surveys, the Data Review Working Group has requested more information before it can validate and enter the latest survey result. At this time, the Data Review Working Group has decided that it is most prudent to retain the 2006 survey in the African Elephant Database.

Summary Totals for Botswana

Estimates from SurveysGuesses% Known and
Possible Range
Area (km2)
Survey categoryEstimate± 95% CLFromTo
Aerial Total Counts6510.51,105
Aerial Sample Counts153,62020,81867.9154,876
Totals 2015154,27120,81700  
Totals 2006154,65820,82800  
Assessed Range68.4155,981
Unassessed Range31.672,092
Total Range100228,073

Summary Totals for Botswana

Data Category Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Aerial or Ground Total Counts651000
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts132,80220,81820,8180
Totals 2013133,45320,81820,8180
Totals 2006133,82920,82920,8290

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

 Estimates from SurveysGuessesArea
Cause of Change Estimate ± 95% CL From To% Known and PossibleTotal
Different Technique-387±685000.51,105
Totals-387±685000.51,105

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Different Technique+298-685-6850
Totals+298-685-6850

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report (2007 scaling)

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Different Technique-376-11-110
Totals-376-11-110

Area of Range Covered by Each Data Category (km²)

Data CategoryKnown RangePossible RangeTotal Range
Aerial or Ground Total Counts1,10501,105
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts92,81162,065154,876
Unassessed Range10,30661,78672,092
Totals104,222123,851228,073

Botswana: Elephant Estimates

Cause ofSurvey Details2 Number of Elephants Area Map Location
Input ZoneChange1TypeReliab.YearEstimate95% C.L. SourcePFS3 (km²) Lon. Lat.
+ Chobe National Park & Environs-ASB200640,767 10,539DWNP, 2006212,195 24.6E 18.5S
-ASB200640,767 10,539DWNP, 200612,195 24.6E 18.5S
+ Nxai Pan & Makgadikgadi National Parks-ASB20061,436 1,950DWNP, 2006111,476 24.8E 20.4S
-ASB20061,436 1,950DWNP, 200611,476 24.8E 20.4S
+ Okavango Delta-ASB200631,191 7,191DWNP, 2006117,160 23.1E 19.4S
-ASB200631,191 7,191DWNP, 200617,160 23.1E 19.4S
+ Rest of Northern Botswana-ASB200680,226 16,334DWNP, 20061118,303 23.5E 19.7S
-ASB200680,226 16,334DWNP, 2006118,303 23.5E 19.7S
+ Tuli Game ReserveDTATA2010651Selier & Page, 201031,320 29.1E 22.1S
DTATA2010190Selier & Page, 2010600 28.9E 22.2S
DTATA2010461Selier & Page, 2010720 29.1E 22.1S

* Range of informed guess

1Key to Causes of Change (only tracked since 2007): DA: Different Area; DD: Data Degraded; DT: Different Technique; NA: New Analysis; NG: New Guess; NP: New population; PL: Population Lost; RS: Repeat Survey (RS ́ denotes a repeat survey that is not statistically comparable for reasons such as different season); –––: No Change

2Key to Survey Types: AC: Aerial Count, not specified; AS: Aerial Sample Count; AT: Aerial Total Count; DC: Dung Count; EX: Extrapolation from GIS; GD: Genetic Dung Count; GS: Ground Sample Count; GT: Ground Total Count; IG: Informed Guess; IR: Individual Registration; OG: Other Guess. Survey Type is followed by an indicator of survey quality, ranked from 1 to 3 (best to worst). Survey Reliability is keyed A-E (best to worst) as outlined in this table.

3PFS: Priority for Future Surveys, ranked from 1 to 5 (highest to lowest). Based on the precision of estimates and the proportion of national range accounted for by the site in question, PFS is a measure of the importance and urgency for future population surveys. All areas of unassessed range have a priority of 1. See Introduction for details on how the PFS is derived.

Note that totals for the Definite, Probable, and Possible categories are derived by pooling the variances of individual estimates, as described at http://www.africanelephantdatabase.org/reliability. As a result, totals do not necessarily match the simple sum of the entries within a given category.

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