Elephant Database
African Elephant Specialist Group

West Africa
Provisional African Elephant Population Estimates: update to 31 Dec 2013

All Years for West Africa: 201620132007200219981995

Summary Totals for West Africa

Estimates from SurveysGuesses% Known and
Possible Range
Area (km2)
Survey categoryEstimate± 95% CLFromTo
Aerial Total Counts99825.536,364
Aerial Sample Counts201.82,518
Ground Sample Counts7,9472,3667.911,235
Reliable Dung Counts9241843.75,291
Other Dung Counts02094251.41,998
Informed Guesses881525154.36,172
Other Guesses000.00
Degraded Data4,2384,23822.732,314
Totals 20159,9592,3734,5995,178  
Totals 20068,4953753,7454,053  
Assessed Range67.395,893
Unassessed Range32.746,606
Total Range100142,500

Summary Totals for West Africa

Data Category Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Aerial or Ground Total Counts998000
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts6,4982,3732,3730
Other Dung Counts0253640
Informed Guesses880152363
Other Guesses316003,922
Totals 20137,9002,6262,5894,285
Totals 20068,1207351,0992,969

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

 Estimates from SurveysGuessesArea
Cause of Change Estimate ± 95% CL From To% Known and PossibleTotal
Repeat Survey+93±41-100-81.21,673
New Population000+400.2320
Different Technique+4,412±2,372-475-36231.444,700
Different Area-190±79+37+1614.56,436
New Guess-582±361-212-2100.6877
Data Degraded-2,2690+1,636+1,5368.712,468
Totals+1,464±2,401+886+1,15746.666,475

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Repeat Survey+52-13+140
New Population000+40
Different Technique-1,704+6,061+6,240-200
Different Area-111+20-320
New Guess-216-366-639-58
Data Degraded-1,953-159-227+1,534
Totals-3,932+5,543+5,356+1,316

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

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Repeat Survey+3-4+40
New Population000+40
Different Technique-95+2,068+1,736-200
Different Area-6+7-90
New Guess-12-125-178-58
Data Degraded-109-54-63+1,534
Totals-220+1,891+1,490+1,316

Area of Range Covered by Each Data Category (km²)

Data CategoryKnown RangePossible RangeTotal Range
Aerial or Ground Total Counts34,6541,71036,364
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts19,044019,045
Informed Guesses4,5073204,826
Other Dung Counts1,940591,998
Other Guesses22,5579,75632,314
Unassessed Range30,17315,97046,606
Totals112,87427,816141,153

Elephant Estimates

Estimates from SurveysGuessesRange  
CountryEstimate/Number Seen± 95% CLFromToArea (km²)% Regional% AssessedIQI1PFS2
Benin1,9591,121009,112692.593
Burkina Faso6,1102,0841,5341,53615,1101188.553
Côte d'Ivoire19113581381314,5781082.142
Ghana1,0127718937115,1811152.362
Guinea001211951,557178.003
Guinea Bissau007201,3461100.003
Liberia124991,3631,36328,9502045.042
Mali34400025,49518100.002
Niger136017172,333290.803
Nigeria82038065920,0881423.032
Senegal10091,0901100.103
Sierra Leone001351551,353164.003
Togo0065656,307472.003
Totals9,9592,3734,5995,178142,50010067.381

Elephant Estimates

CountryDefiniteProbablePossibleSpeculativeRange Area (km²)% of Regional Range% of Range AssessedIQI1PFS2
Benin8381,1211,12109,112692 .593
Burkina Faso4,2032,0842,1321,31115,1101188 .573
Côte d'Ivoire18913513567814,5781082 .232
Ghana9352661295915,1811152 .452
Guinea06437571,557178 .313
Guinea Bissau007131,3461100 .003
Liberia2599991,36328,9502045 .042
Mali34400025,49518100 1.002
Niger13601702,333290 .803
Nigeria820065920,0881423 .032
Senegal10091,0901100 .103
Sierra Leone0080751,353164 .003
Togo400616,307472 .043
Totals7,9002,6262,5894,285142,50010067 .411

1IQI: Information Quality Index: This index quantifies overall data quality at the regional level based on the precision of estimates and the proportion of assessed elephant range (i.e. range for which estimates are available). The IQI ranges from zero (no reliable information) to one (perfect information).

2PFS: 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.

IUCNSpecies Survival Commission

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