This report documents an aerial survey of the Khaudum National Park and surrounding conservancies in north-east Namibia conducted in October 2015.
The survey was conducted using a Cessna 182 to cover the 12 851 km² area at an average intensity of 9%. A total elephant population of 6 413 (95% c.i. 3 847 -8 979) was estimated across 12 strata. The stratification of the survey area was the same as for the 2013 survey (Craig & Gibson 2013). The estimate of elephant numbers has not changed significantly since this survey.
The carcass ratio was relatively low (an estimate of 29 elephant carcasses; 63 if 'other' carcasses are included).
The report states that the great variation in elephant estimates between the last two surveys is at least partly due to statistical variation resulting from a small sample operating on a small number of elephant family groups in the Tsumkwe system, and recommends a revision of the stratum boundaries and sampling intensity based on the information on elephant distributions gained in the previous three surveys.
Although one observer consistently identified more groups than the other, this was not statistically significant. Failure of the laser altimeter recording system necessitated a change of approach to obtain the height data (e.g. to the use of a digital elevation model), and some heights were not recorded as a result.
Source:Gibson, D. S. C., & Craig, G. C. (2015). Aerial Survey Of Elephants & Other Wildlife In Khaudum National Park & Neighbouring Conservancies October 2015. Ministry of Environment & Tourism, Namibia.