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Cumming, D. and Jones, B. 2005. Elephants in Southern Africa: management issues and options. WWF - SARPO


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Elephants in Southern Africa: management issues and options.

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Elephant conservation in southern Africa has been remarkably successful over the last century. The region's elephant populations collapsed in the late 1880s through over-hunting, but their numbers have since increased more than 20-fold; from less than a few thousand to 250,000 – 300,000 today. The overall biomass of elephants in southern Africa is now higher than that of any other large mammal in the region. Human populations have also increased 20-fold over the last century resulting in a rapid expansion of human settlement and agriculture. Human and elephant population growth has led to compressed and fragmented elephant ranges, increasing human-elephant conflict and an escalating elephant overpopulation problem. Elephants are large generalist herbivores and the currently high elephant densities in protected areas may well be unprecedented in evolutionary and historical terms because the major predator of elephants, Homo sapiens, has been removed from these ecosystems. This study, commissioned by the WWF Africa and Madagascar Programme, examined and reviewed management issues and options relating to the elephant overpopulation problem in southern Africa. The study covered six countries – Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These countries were visited to obtain information on current numbers, distribution and trends in elephant populations, legal and policy frameworks governing the conservation and management of elephant, elephant management issues and problems, and the views of a wide range of stakeholders on elephant management issues and options.

Year: 2005

Type: Report

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