The Namibian

A herd of elephants spotted in the Bwabwata National Park. Photo: Nampa

THE Ministry of Environment and Tourism will be conducting an aerial wildlife survey in the Zambezi and Kavango East regions to establish the population count of elephants and other wild animals.

This was announced by environment and tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta at the official inauguration of a new park station in the Bwabwata National Park’s Buffalo Core Area in the Kavango East Region on Saturday.

Shifeta said the ministry, supported by the German government, would carry out the aerial wildlife survey in the two regions, including in the Bwabwata and Khaudum national parks and parts of neighbouring conservancies that form part of the Kavango-Zambezi Trans-frontier Conservation Area.

The minister said an experienced survey team would carry out the survey over a period of three weeks from mid-September to early October this year.

“Elephants and other wildlife will be counted from a low-flying aircraft by the trained observers, whereby the survey team will use a method that is widely applied and internationally accepted. Surveys from different years and different places will be compared and used to show trends in wildlife populations and distribution,” he explained.

Shifeta said the aim of the survey was to get an updated estimate of numbers and the distribution of elephants in the north-eastern part of the country.

This type of survey was last conducted in 2015 and it is done for wildlife management purposes.

The minister gave thanks for the support the Federal Republic of Germany has rendered to Namibia for its conservation initiatives. “The Ministry of Environment and Tourism once again expresses its heartfelt thanks for Germany’s continued friendship and generous support [for] these important conservation initiatives,” he said.