Sunday 30 August 2015

Tanzania's Elephant population summary

In general, the national census which was a follow up to the 2009 nationwide census revealed a decrease of 65,721 elephants from 109, 051 to only 43,330 elephants, an equivalent of a 60.3 per cent drop in a span of five years.

Areas which recorded a decrease in the elephant numbers include the Malagarasi-Moyozi ecosystem which recorded an 81 per cent decrease well from 15,198 in 2009 to 2,953.

In the Kilimanjaro ecosystem the number fell from 450 to 100, a decrease of 77.8 per cent.

The census recorded a considerable increase in the Selous-Mikumi ecosystem from 13,000 herds in 2013 to 15,217, an increase of 2000.  The increase is linked to improved management as well as the support received from conservation partners. Bear in mind that there were around 70000 elephants in Selous alone in 2006. They have been severely massacred.

The Serengeti which is the World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve of mankind saw an impressive 98 per cent increase from 3,068 in 2009 to 6,087 in 2014.

In the Tarangire ecosystem, a 64 per cent increase was recorded from 2,561 in 2009 to 4,202 in 2014. Tarangire, according to the data, has the highest elephant population density in the world.

The census recorded a 108 per cent increase in Rubondo from 49 in 2009 to 102 in 2014, while the population in Katavi-Rukwa remained stable with 6,396 in the same period.

Ruaha-Rungwa is in dispute. Census showed a decrease from 20,000 to 8200 from 2013 to 2014. The Government believes these numbers are wrong and is organising a new search starting in November to try and find the missing elephants

I hope I am wrong but I suspect what is left of them will be found in Ivory shops in Hong Kong and China.

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