The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Secretariat is pleased to announce that flying for the KAZA Elephant Survey was completed today, with the last flights taking place in the Zambezi region of Namibia, to survey south-eastern Angola, and in Sioma Ngwezi National Park in Zambia, to complete the count of a game management area there.
The KAZA Elephant Survey is a priority action identified during the 2019 Kasane Elephant Summit, a directive of the KAZA Partner State Heads of State, and a fundamental component of the KAZA Strategic Planning Framework for the Conservation and Management of Elephants. The survey aims to determine the numbers and seasonal distribution of elephants and elephant carcasses, and other large herbivores and is a substantial undertaking and coordinated effort of the governments of the Partner States comprising the Republics of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Since the first flights which took place in the Sebungwe Region of northwest Zimbabwe on the 22nd of August this year, a total area of 312,000km² across KAZA has been covered by survey flying, with a total of 697 flying hours undertaken by eight aircraft. As per the survey methodology, flying took place during the height of the dry season to ensure maximum visibility through tree canopies, with an average height for flying of 300ft (91m).
The KAZA Partner States contributed to, oversaw, supported, and participated in all aspects of the KAZA Elephant Survey, seconding personnel that made up over 50% of the 47-person team comprising contractors, survey biologists, observers, data managers, and operations rooms technicians.
With survey flying completed, the project now moves towards the data analysis phase. Plans are to complete a preliminary analysis in November/December of this year, and finalisation of a draft report on survey findings in February/March 2023, following which a process of peer review will begin.
The KAZA Secretariat and Partner States thank the implementation partner, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and the KAZA Elephant Survey donors and international cooperation partners: the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development through KfW, the Dutch Postcode Lottery through the Dreamfund Project, USAID’s Combating Wildlife Crime in Namibia and the Kavango-Zambezi Area Project, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
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