Elephant Database
African Elephant Specialist Group

West Africa
2016 African Elephant Status Report

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 Counts4013.04,338
Aerial Sample Counts8,9362,52714.320,362
Ground Sample Counts8935070.7990
Reliable Dung Counts9061813.75,227
Other Dung Counts01032271.21,705
Informed Guesses35342078628.841,057
Other Guesses1,4491,44912.417,735
Degraded Data9059058.011,436
Totals 201511,4892,5832,8763,366  
Totals 20067,8623753,7454,053  
Assessed Range72.2102,850
Unassessed Range27.839,649
Total Range100142,500

Summary Totals for West Africa

Data Category Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Aerial or Ground Total Counts401000
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts8,1512,5842,5840
Other Dung Counts0120450
Informed Guesses3530420366
Other Guesses9002,345
Totals 20158,9142,7043,0492,711
Totals 20067,4877351,1292,939

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

 Estimates from SurveysGuessesArea
Cause of Change Estimate ± 95% CL From To% Known and PossibleTotal
Repeat Survey+1460-105-550.6791
New Population00+47+505.47,698
Different Technique+4,874±2,582-83-8316.823,892
Different Area-90±127-286-2121.92,727
New Guess-987±320-249-8535.650,737
Population Lost-129±167-318-3580.00
Data Degraded-187±36+187+1180.00
No Change0±760011.917,004

Interpretation of Changes in Estimates from Previous Report

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Repeat Survey+98-32-190
New Population00+25+25
Different Technique-2,053+6,802+7,5320
Different Area-110+84+57-313
New Guess-667-385-465+573
Population Lost-83-205-246-257

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

Cause of Change Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Repeat Survey-50-10-50
New Population00+7-204
Different Technique+1,041+2,138+2,1120
Different Area+56+26+16+2,549
New Guess+338-121-130-4,666
Population Lost+42-64-69+2,093

Area of Range Covered by Each Data Category (km²)

Data CategoryKnown RangePossible RangeTotal Range
Aerial or Ground Total Counts2,6281,7104,338
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts26,578026,579
Informed Guesses38,4332,62441,057
Other Dung Counts1,646591,705
Other Guesses14,99212,69927,691
Unassessed Range28,59710,72339,784

Elephant Estimates

Estimates from SurveysGuessesRange  
CountryEstimate/Number Seen± 95% CLFromToArea (km²)% Regional% AssessedIQI1PFS2
Burkina Faso6,8502,124676915,1101180.613
Côte d'Ivoire18913564765214,5781091.182
Guinea Bissau00771,3461100.003
Sierra Leone001351551,353164.003

Elephant Estimates

CountryDefiniteProbablePossibleSpeculativeRange Area (km²)% of Regional Range% of Range AssessedIQI1PFS2
Benin1,5241,4601,46009,112699 .663
Burkina Faso4,7262,1242,1732015,1101180 .613
Côte d'Ivoire5913527350914,5781091 .182
Ghana9261249318315,1811150 .402
Guinea0643701,557178 .493
Guinea Bissau00071,3461100 .003
Liberia2599991,42528,9502045 .032
Mali253051025,49518100 .832
Niger000172,3332100 .003
Nigeria9403343020,0881456 .092
Senegal10951,0901100 .073
Sierra Leone0080751,353164 .003
Togo4070406,307465 .023
Totals8,9142,7043,0592,711142,50010072 .482

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.

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