For the past seven years WESSA has provided support to Elephants Alive, previously known as Save the Elephants – South Africa and now working in collaboration with Save the Elephants.
Elephants Alive conducts research and tracks individual elephants in the Greater Limpopo region, acquiring real-time, accurate data collected from high quality satellite tracking collars (GPS-satellite and GPS/GMS collars) in order to study their population dynamics, their movements and habitat use.
In total 58 elephants have been collared during 91 collaring operations in the western, eastern and northern regions of the Kruger National Park. Within the Associated Private Nature Reserve (APNR) 36 elephants have been fitted with collars since 1998, enabling the collection of distribution data from eight breeding herds and 28 bulls within these private reserves. In the neighbouring Kruger National Park, 14 bulls and 6 breeding herds have been collared since 2006.
In 2012 WESSA raised additional funds for the collaring of another large bull in the central section of the Kruger National Park. There are very few large tusked bulls left in Africa today as they are the first to be targeted by unregulated trophy hunting and illegal poaching. By understanding the abundance, movements and social importance of the remaining large tusked bulls to both human and elephant society, we strive to use these flagship individuals as educational tools to address broader conservation concerns.
We need to do all we can to ensure that these rare giants are symbols of beauty and age are kept alive and protected, despite man’s greed and the high price of ivory.
WESSA project contact
Chris Galliers, Biodiversity Unit Leader
Tel: 033 330 3931 ext 2146
Cell: 079 5044 296