The report details an aerial survey in the Laikipia-Samburu, Marsabit, Meru and Lamu ecosystems in central and southeastern Kenya during May and June 2015.
The area surveyed totalled 35 371 km2. The survey was conducted using a Cessna 182. For two areas (Milgis River and Marsabit), a Cessna 206 was used because it was better-suited for the terrain while 4 KWS aircraft were used for the block survey of the Lamu area.
Both total counts (n = 11) and sample counts (n = 8) were conducted, as well as a single aerial search. In total, 20 strata were surveyed, yielding an estimated elephant population of 8 708 (95% c.i. 7 109 - 10 307). 1 023 transects totaling 23 878 km were flown. The search rate averaged 1.34 km2/min for sample counts and 2.81 km2/min for total counts excepting Lamu.
The carcass ratio was estimated at 5.7 %, indicative of a healthy and potentially growing elephant population. The report mentions that in certain regions carcass ratios were high, which could indicate ongoing poaching. These areas include Nasalot, Nyahururu Forest, and Lamu. However, elephant populations in these areas are not large, so the threat to the greater population in the Laikipia-Samburu, Marsabit, and Lamu ecosystems appears limited.
Source:Chase, M., Schlossberg, S., Kenana, L., Mukeka, J., Kanga, E., & Ngene, S. (2016). Wet-Season Fixed-Wing Aerial Survey Of Elephants And Other Large Mammals In The Laikipia-Samburu, Marsabit, Meru And Lamu Ecosystems, Kenya. Elephants Without Borders and KWS.