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Collaring for Conservation

Ten elephants were fitted with tracking collars for protection and monitoring in Zambia’s North Luangwa Ecosystem and Nsumbu National Park.

Ranger with collars
Elephants in North Luangwa were fitted with such collars.

Poaching, coupled with human-wildlife conflict and habitat loss remains a critical threat to elephants across Africa. With the continent’s population estimated to be as low as 415,000, various conservation measures to curb poaching and limit human encroachment need to be taken if we are to save this iconic species. 

 

Recently, Zambia’s Department of National Parks & Wildlife(DNPW) in partnership with Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) fitted ten elephants with a satellite/VhF collars in the North Luangwa Ecosystem and Nsumbu National Park. The three-day operation was funded by the Elephant Crisis Fund and FZS with expert veterinary support provided by Great Plains Foundation/Rhino without Borders and a helicopter support through the Tudor Jones Family Foundation. 

 

The operation builds on a strategy implemented since August 2016 in the North Luangwa Ecosystem to collar elephants in the identified poaching hot-spot areas to better understand their movements and guide their protection. So far 15 have been fitted with collars. 

 

The data collected enable law enforcement managers to monitor the elephant locations through satellite and VhF tracking to support anti-poaching protection operations. A greater understanding of the elephants’ movements— visualised on the Save the Elephants tracking app (powered by Vulcan)—helps guide broader law enforcement planning and  assists in mitigating human-elephant conflict.