Mozambique has an estimated population of 10,800 elephants, a number that has remained stable over the past five years despite threats to the species, the National Conservation Areas Administration (ANAC) said today in a statement.
“The preliminary survey results indicate an estimated 10,800 elephants. The population in the country has been stable since the 2014 data collection,” Carlos Lopes Pereira, ANAC’s Director of Protection and Enforcement, said.
The African elephant is classified as “vulnerable” on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the third of seven levels of risk, the seventh being extinction.
Survey data help clarify species management and appear as a counterpoint to other figures on the effects of poaching.
According to older figures from ANAC, in the Niassa Reserve, the country’s largest protected area in the far north of Mozambique, the total number of elephants fell from 12,000 to 4,400 in three years (between 2011 and 2014).
However, the situation has been changing, and in May the National Conservation Area Administration celebrated a year without elephant poaching.
The new National Air Survey of Elephants and Other Species was co-financed by the Government of Mozambique and the French Development Agency (AFD) and cost about US$1 million.
“The survey was an important exercise in monitoring the evolution of the elephant population in the country,” the statement added.
Mozambique is committed to the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Species (CITES), in particular through the National Plan of Action for Ivory and Rhino Management (NIRAP), ANAC Director-General Mateus Mutemba says.
CITES is an international agreement regulating trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora.
Note: A Census is a 100% record of something, and a Survey involves sampling. For elephant lifting, the sample size is only about 10% (why do we have such large confidence intervals). Thus the given number is therefore only an estimate and not an absolute number.