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Elephant numbers in steady growth

Source: Elephant numbers in steady growth –Newsday Zimbabwe

THE elephant population in the region is growing steadily according to the recently released KAZA Elephant Survey Report.

The KAZA Trans-Frontier Conservation Area includes Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe which have common international borders along the Okavango and Zambezi River basins.

According to the report the estimated population of elephants in the region stands at 227 900, indicating that the numbers are stable.

Botswana hosts the largest elephant population of 131 909 followed by Zimbabwe which has 65 028.

The report also showed that Namibia has 21 090, Angola has 5 983 and Zambia 3 840.

An international organisation which helps people and animals to thrive together, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) has commended the region for preserving the elephant population.

“In celebrating this important milestone, we applaud the KAZA secretariat, partner States and their partners for the collective effort to maintain stable elephant populations despite the threats from climate change, habitat loss, and poaching,” Philip Kuvawoga, programme director for Landscape Conservation at IFAW, said.

“This rigorous survey provides an important baseline for assessing the effectiveness of our combined efforts to secure a viable future for the region’s elephants and the human populations that live alongside them.”

He said while the news was positive, growing challenges related to habitat connectivity and human-elephant co-existence need to be addressed.

Kuvawoga said there was also a need to ensure that conservation actions support communities that bear the brunt of living close to wildlife conservancies.