A map of a collared elephant provided by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Zambia and Namibia and Elephant Connection Research Project (EC) has given long-awaited confirmation that connectivity still remains between the elephant populations of Kafue National Park, Zambia and the broader Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) landscape.
An elephant bull, that was collared by the partners in 2017, shows movement from Sioma Ngwezi National Park, Zambia into Namibia, Angola and Botswana over the past year and more recently all the way to Kafue National Park. During its journey from Sioma Ngwezi National Park, located in Western Province, to Kafue National Park, the bull is estimated to have traveled 390km in 14 days and was accompanied by at least 6 other elephants on its journey. Community reports from the area’s he traveled in Zambia suggest that elephant migrations are a regular, albeit infrequent, event.
Throughout Africa, there is a critical conservation concern about the isolation of elephant populations due to shrinking habitats. WWF and Elephant Connection aim to identify and secure functional wildlife movement corridors that can re-join fragmented wildlife habitats to provide effective landscape linkages between Zambian ecosystems and those of KAZA TFCA partner countries.
It is for this reason that WWF, EC and the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) initiated the satellite-collaring of elephants in the Zambian component of KAZA TFCA having successfully collared 15 elephants to date. Information about movement patterns and habitat use gathered from satellites is crucial in advocating for clear land use plans, sustainable approaches to infrastructure development, and minimizing the occurrences of human wildlife conflict.
With the results so far, WWF and EC are excited about the information that is yet to be gathered in the coming months and years.
This is according to a press statement issued by Nchimunya Kasongo, WWF Zambia Communications Officer.