The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi

by Elephants for Africa
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The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi
The male elephants of the Makgadikgadi

Project Report | Mar 12, 2024
Elephants: Their Movements and our Challenges

By Stephanie Kong | Project Manager, Elephants for Africa

Dr. Kate Evans collecting dung samples.
Dr. Kate Evans collecting dung samples.

Dear GlobalGiving Community,

We hope that this finds you well and in good spirits, it is time for your update on the male elephants of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Firstly, we want to express our gratitude to all of you for your generous support of our research objectives in Botswana. Your contributions enable us to continue our work in tracking the movements of our collared elephants and understanding the environmental challenges they face in a changing world. It has really been a challenging time of late, and the knowledge that you and others are out there, supporting us and campaigning our course, really lightens the load.

Botswana and much of southern Africa are currently grappling with drought, continuous heatwaves, and dwindling water sources despite technically being the "wet-season." These adverse conditions have led to noticeable shifts in wildlife migratory patterns and plant communities, underscoring the urgency of understanding and addressing climate change impacts.

Regrettably, we recently made a sad discovery regarding one of our collared elephants. The elephant was found deceased in Nxai Pans National Park after his collar indicated inactivity, and our research team went to investigate; there were two outcomes: 1) the elephant dropped his collar, or 2) he had died. The cause of death remains undetermined, though poaching or hunting is unlikely as he was found with his large tusks. Given the extreme heat measured by his collar and his location, we believe he succumbed to harsh environmental factors. This loss serves as a poignant reminder of the effects of climate change and the detrimental effects on wildlife.

Nevertheless, our commitment to our research goals remains in the face of these challenges. We have been busy processing samples for exportation to the UK for analyses, which will include accessing the levels of various minerals in the male elephant dung, vegetation, and soil samples we have collected, as Botswana lacks the necessary facilities for such tests. We are grateful for the assistance of a group of interns from the Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN) whose enthusiasm underscored the collaborative spirit of many of our endeavors and helped us process the samples, drying them in our solar oven, designed and made my a previous intern, and grinding them up in a household coffee grinder – life in the bush is practical if not glamorous!.

Once again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to you for your support. Your contributions enable us to continue our research and conservation efforts in the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park.

With many thanks and appreciation,
The Elephants for Africa team

BUAN interns drying samples in our solar oven.
BUAN interns drying samples in our solar oven.
BUAN interns grinding dung samples into powder.
BUAN interns grinding dung samples into powder.
A collared bull drinking at a borehole (in Park).
A collared bull drinking at a borehole (in Park).
Unusually harsh and rapid environmental changes.
Unusually harsh and rapid environmental changes.
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Nov 17, 2023
Elephant Research Full Steam Ahead!

By Stephanie Kong | Project Manager, Elephants for Africa

Jul 24, 2023
Harnessing the sun

By Dr Kate Evans | Founder & CEO

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Organization Information

Elephants for Africa

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @E4Africa
Project Leader:
Kate Evans
London , United Kingdom

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