We started this project as we were concerned about the impact of hunting on male elephant behaviour and how they react to humans, our main concern being that the elephants would become more aggressive which would impact how they interreacted with the communities bordering the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. During our study period there have been far fewer hunts than anticipated, no doubt due to limitations in travel. It will be interesting to see if they do increase, or if hunting levels are now lower since the reintroduction of hunting.
Whilst hunting levels were low, and thus any conclusion impacted by the small sample, we did not note any change in reaction indices in the male elephants we monitored. Doing this work has introduced an important protocol to our work, which we shall continue to use
Since our last report to you we have collared 10 adult male elephants in the region and they may also shed light on the impact of hunting, as in other areas it has been noted that when an individual is hunted, others will move out of the area, so we shall see if these 10 individuals react similarly. Although one has already moved into Zimbabwe!
Whilst our initial study period for this project is over, we will continue with our monitoring of the male elephants of the Makgadikgadi, including noting their reaction and keeping a note of any hunting event to see, over time, if hunting impacts the behaviour of elephants. We shall also continue to talk to the community members about how they perceive elephants to be reacting, as and when they encounter them.
In the next month or so we shall update the project details to reflect these changes. Thank you so much for your support of this work, we simply could not do this without you.
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