Botswana population survey shows surprising drop in species numbers

Jun 27, 2011

A recently completed aerial survey of northern Botswana by Elephants Without Borders (EWB), through the support of Botswana's Dept. of Wildlife & National Parks, indicates that wildebeest, giraffes, kudu, lechwe, ostriches, roan and tsessebe antelope and warthog species are significantly challenged. Populations of these species appear to have dropped significantly over the past 15 years, specifically in Ngamiland, which encompasses the Okavango delta.

"Particularly troubling is the almost 90% drop in the numbers of wildebeest sighted by the survey," said Michael Chase, Ph.D., the San Diego Zoo's Henderson Endowed Conservation Research Postdoctoral Fellow and founder of EWB. "Land use, habitat fragmentation, vegetation changes, drought effects, veterinary fences, fires and poaching are all contributing factors to the decline of throughout Africa."

The took nearly 250 hours of flying time to cover a total of, I'd use 28,370 square miles which included the national parks of Chobe, Makgadikgadi, Nxai Pan, Moremi Game Reserve, the Okavango Delta and the surrounding Wildlife Management Areas in the Ngamiland, Chobe and Central districts. Survey results were analyzed comparatively to 9 similar surveys, conducted between 1993 and 2004. Numbers of individuals counted and species sighted were noted.

"Although we are concerned about the challenges faced by some species, we are encouraged that wildlife numbers in Chobe National Park appear fairly stable," said Kelly Landen, EWB's program manager. "The elephant population in northern Botswana also appears not to have changed significantly, holding at about 130,000 individuals."

EWB conservationists noted a particular concern for the status of wildlife in the Okavango Delta, pointing at recent droughts and human encroachment as serious concerns for the that depend on this area.

Explore further: Stanford researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

Provided by Zoological Society of San Diego

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Jumbo-sized discovery made in Malaysia

Jan 14, 2009

New data released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Malaysia's Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) reveals that a population of endangered Asian elephants living in a Malaysian park ...

Elephant highways of death

Apr 03, 2007

A new study coordinated by the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups found that Central Africa’s increasing network of roads – which are penetrating deeper and deeper into the wildest areas of ...

African park's mammals make a comeback

Jun 22, 2006

Scientists say they believe several species of large mammals are recovering from a decade of civil war and poaching in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Study says 2000 tigers possible in Thailand

Dec 20, 2007

Thailand’s Western Forest Complex – a 6,900 square mile (18,000 square kilometers) network of parks and wildlife reserves – can potentially support some 2,000 tigers, making it one of the world’s strongholds for these ...

Recommended for you

Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

Apr 18, 2014

Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But wild plants need to be more careful. In the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More ...

Scientists tether lionfish to Cayman reefs

Apr 18, 2014

Research done by U.S. scientists in the Cayman Islands suggests that native predators can be trained to gobble up invasive lionfish that colonize regional reefs and voraciously prey on juvenile marine creatures.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Biologists help solve fungi mysteries

(Phys.org) —A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.