KAZA ups preps for elephant survey



The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) says progress has been made in preparing for KAZA-wide synchronised aerial survey to determine elephant numbers and seasonal distribution.

KAZA secretariat Executive Director Nyambe Nyambe said they are taking the necessary measures to ensure that there is effective coordination and management of the survey.

“The support being rendered by different stakeholders is encouraging and strengthens our confidence that the synchronised transboundary survey will be successful, on time and within budget,” Nyambe said.

To date, key milestones achieved in preparation for the survey include the development of a standardised methodology consistent with the recently revised MIKE aerial survey standards (CITES MIKE 2020) and securing nearly 80% of the approximately US$3m budget required.

Partner States are set to officially launch the survey during the fourth quarter of 2021 with the actual survey implementation scheduled for the dry season July-October 2022.

The aerial survey aligns with and builds on the KAZA partner States’ recognition that connectivity across the broader KAZA landscape is essential for the future of the region’s wildlife, including elephants, and this must be underpinned by sound ecological understanding of wildlife movements and other dynamics.

Nyambe’s remarks come as the secretariat joins in the commemoration of the 2021 World Elephant Day today as it reaffirms its commitment to coordinating efforts of the partner States and various stakeholders in the management of more than half of the remaining African Savannah elephants found in the landscape.

“We cannot imagine a world without the elephants given their incalculable importance to the ecosystems, livelihoods of approximately 2.5 million people living in the KAZA region and socioeconomic development of the five partner States. The partner States are committed to, and prioritises the creation of safe havens for the elephants,” Nyambe said.

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