AERIAL SURVEY COUNT IN MID - ZAMBEZI VALLEY
Currently Zimbabwe Parks Management Authority is undertaking an aerial large mammals count - thanks to the support received from CITES Southern African Office based in South Africa. This aerial count is being carried out in Chewore Safari Area, Kanyemba, Dande and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. These large mammal counts are conducted once every three years in all elephant range areas in Zimbabwe. The purpose of these counts is to determine the population status and trends of large mammals, with special emphasis on elephant numbers. ZPWMA officers are leading the census operation.
Trends in elephant populations in the Mid-Zambezi Valley region is available from 1980 to the present day. The data indicates that there is an increase in elephant population numbers since 1980.
This population occupies large the Parks and Wildlife Estates between Lake Kariba and Cabora Bassa and forms part of a larger population that Zimbabwe shares with the lower Zambezi national park in Zambia and the Magoe district in Mozambique. The co-ordinated surveys in this region have been undertaken in 2003 and 2005 with the support of African Wildlife Foundation as part of its support to Zambezi heartland project.
The population estimate of 30 209+ 21% from the 2005 aerial survey is the highest ever for the region before the current count indicating that the population is increasing
Recorded off-takes were low during the period 2000 to 2006 with exception of relatively high levels of drought induced mortalities in 2005. The last population estimate 2009 was 100 000 elephants.