The Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) will conduct a US$3 million aerial survey which will inform decisions on the sustainable management of the elephant population in the bloc.
The KAZA has a geographic scope of approximately 520 000km², covering five countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The survey, which is the first-ever KAZA-wide coordinated aerial survey of elephants, is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2022.
The aerial survey will be based on the recently revised Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) aerial survey standards.
Announcing the initiative on Thursday, on behalf of the five states as the coordinating country for the KAZA TFCA, Executive director in Namibia’s Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Teofious Nghitila said:
The survey is a fundamental component of the KAZA Strategic Planning Framework for the conservation and management of elephants.
It is also one of the action points of the 2019 Kasane Elephant Summit and a directive by the five countries’ heads of state.
Results from the survey will contribute significantly towards decisions on the sustainable management of KAZA’s elephant population.
He said the elephant population within KAZA represents more than 50 per cent of the remaining savannah elephants (Loxodonta Africana) found in Africa.
The species is listed as globally endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).