Elephant Database
African Elephant Specialist Group

Provisional African Elephant Population Estimates: update to 31 Dec 2013

All Years for Malawi: 201620132007200219981995

Summary Totals for Malawi

Estimates from SurveysGuesses% Known and
Possible Range
Area (km2)
Survey categoryEstimate± 95% CLFromTo
Aerial Total Counts1,03519.21,497
Aerial Sample Counts5821830.42,370
Informed Guesses16324334021.61,680
Totals 20151,256217243340  
Totals 20061692172,2152,235  
Assessed Range71.25,547
Unassessed Range28.82,241
Total Range1007,789

Summary Totals for Malawi

Data Category Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Aerial or Ground Total Counts1,035000
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts252182180
Informed Guesses163024397
Totals 20131,22321846197
Totals 20062432185271,819

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

 Estimates from SurveysGuessesArea
Cause of Change Estimate ± 95% CL From To% Known and PossibleTotal
Different Technique+9940-2,043-2,04328.62,224
New Guess+930+71+14812.2953

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Different Technique+8870-137-1,799
New Guess+930+71+77

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

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Different Technique+8870-137-1,799
New Guess+930+71+77

Area of Range Covered by Each Data Category (km²)

Data CategoryKnown RangePossible RangeTotal Range
Aerial or Ground Total Counts1,49701,497
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts302,3402,370
Informed Guesses1,68001,680
Unassessed Range1,7874552,241

Malawi: Elephant Estimates

Cause ofSurvey Details2 Number of Elephants Area Map Location
Input ZoneChange1TypeReliab.YearEstimate95% C.L. SourcePFS3 (km²) Lon. Lat.
+ Kasungu National Park-ASB200558 218Ferreira et al., 200512,463 33.1E 12.9S
-ASB200558 218Ferreira et al., 20052,463 33.1E 12.9S
+ Liwonde National ParkDTATA2012678Macpherson, 2012a2548 35.3E 14.9S
DTATA2012678Macpherson, 2012a548 35.3E 14.9S
+ Majete Wildlife ReserveNGOD2012163 97*Macpherson, 2012b1860 34.6E 15.9S
NGOD2012163 97*Macpherson, 2012b860 34.6E 15.9S
+ Nkhotakota Wildlife ReserveDTGSD201392Sichali & Mkumbwa, 20141747 34.1E 13.0S
DTGSD201392Sichali & Mkumbwa, 2014747 34.1E 13.0S
+ Nyika National ParkDTATA201347Macpherson, 2013b11,679 33.8E 10.6S
DTATA201347Macpherson, 2013b1,679 33.8E 10.6S
+ Phirilongwe Forest ReserveNGOD20096Kaunga-Nyirenda, pers. comm., 20141640 35.0E 14.5S
NGOD20096Kaunga-Nyirenda, pers. comm., 2014640 35.0E 14.5S
+ Thuma Forest ReserveNGOD2013145Kaunga-Nyirenda, pers. comm., 20141370 34.1E 13.9S
NGOD2013145Kaunga-Nyirenda, pers. comm., 2014370 34.1E 13.9S
+ Vwaza Marsh Wildlife ReserveDTATA2013310Macpherson, pers. comm., 2013c1978 33.4E 11.0S
DTATA2013310Macpherson, pers. comm., 2013c978 33.4E 11.0S

* 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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