Elephants on the move in Kafue National Park, Zambia.
In September 2015, ecologists took to the sky to get a better picture of the state of elephants in Zambia as part of the Great Elephant Census. The results have the ecologists feeling cautiously optimistic.
Zambia is one of 20 countries to participate in the Great Elephant Census, a Paul G. Allen project launched in 2013 with continent-wide results which was released August 31, 2016. It is the first pan-African elephant census in 40 years covering an estimated 95 percent of savanna elephant populations and using standardized data collection and validation methods.
Tracking poaching is very difficult — poaching takes place in remote areas and tusks are smuggled out. Elephants move constantly, and these are massive wilderness areas. Kafue National Park alone is the size of New Jersey. You can cover great distances and still only see a few elephants but that doesn’t give the full picture. That’s why a scientifically designed and executed census was so needed and is so valuable. ~ The Nature Conservancy