Elephant Database
African Elephant Specialist Group

Population Survey

Democratic Republic of Congo
Phenotype: Savanna (based on genetic evidence gathered on-site)
Data contributed by reuben@refleqt.co.za, last updated 18/07/2022
Report restricted by data provider
4810 km²
No strata
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This dataset comprises aerial sample count data from a survey conducted in the greater Virunga landscape, Democratic Republic of Congo, in June 2014. Two aircraft were used in these surveys a Cessna 182 (N22044) and a Cessna 206 (N242TC). The survey estimated an elephant population of 35 within the 4 810 km² survey area. Elephant numbers in the park appear to have dropped approximately 90% from a count of 347 in 2010, although the report notes that the elephant population fluctuates as herds move between Virunga and the adjoining Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. *** Data capturer notes: *** The survey area was calculated based on the shapefiles provided. This area differs from that of the previous survey (4 810 km² vs 4 147 km² http://www.elephantdatabase.org/population_submissions/140), which needs to be confirmed with the report authors. The flight lines were placed 500m apart instead of 1km apart as in the previous survey, to reduce the probability of missing elephants. No information on sampling intensity was presented. The exact number of elephant carcasses was unclear: the report mentions 10 carcasses in the Executive Summary (pg 2), but only 5 are shown in Figure 8 on pg 15. No estimates of total carcass numbers were available, only direct observations.
Source:Wanyama, F., Balole, E., Elkan, P., Mendiguetti, S., Ayebare, S., Kisame, F., … Plumptre, A. J. (2014). Technical Report: Aerial surveys of the Greater Virunga Landscape (p. 25). Wildlife Conservation Society; Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature; Uganda Wildlife Authority.
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