Collaring the 6th elephant for research
ELEPHANT RESEARCH IN CHIZARIRA NATIONAL PARK ZIMBABWE
The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT) carries out various management-based research projects in the 1,910km² Chizarira National Park in the north of Zimbabwe. This includes work on lions and elephants. Both species are classed as “vulnerable” under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Our elephant research has gone well this past year despite the shortage of manpower and financial instability. We partner with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and WWF in our research and acknowledge both with thanks. The support that we get from GlobalGiving donors makes the project sustainable. Thank you to you all.
During the period covered by this report, the ALERT team collared two more elephants (1 male and 1 female) and we have been following their movements regularly using the GPS function in the collar. In order to observe the herd we use the VHF function in the collar and track them on foot using a directional aerial. Getting visual sightings is important so that we can obtain herd demographics and feeding preference.
Overall, the research gives insight into population numbers, the demographics of the population (which in turn indicates whether the population is healthy or not, and what the survival rate is of calves). We share this data with the park management so that they know what the elephant population is doing and whether they need to increase protection.
In addition our data is shared with other elephant researchers working in the Sebungwe Area and the KAZA Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) which encompasses Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe as a potential Conservation Area of a staggering 519,512km2 in extent. The importance of the TFCA is that wildlife can move between countries following traditional wildlife corridors which will allow gene flow and assist in relieving population pressure.