Tracking animal movements is a key part in large-scale conservation, especially with keystone species such as bears, cougars, elephant and gorillas. Knowing how animals move, seasonal variations and changes due to climate, development or other reasons, can inform conservation decisions and management.
The Makuleke Transboundary Elephant program, by Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust and partners including WILD and Save the Elephants, is currently tracking the movements of seven elephants with high-tech satellite collars to study their movements and range use patterns. This region of Kruger National Park is unique because it has an open boundary to Zimbabwe and has the only perennial river in the northern part of Kruger – both important factors for the goal of the project. See some of the current data >
The project will eventually track 12 elephants to gain better understanding of elephant movements in relation to water resources, inform decisions on how to manage the growing elephant population, minimize human-elephant conflict and provide information for the design of transfrontier conservation projects, including the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. The Great Limpopo will eventually to link the Limpopo Park in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa and Gonarezhou National Park, Manjini Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, as well as additional areas between Kruger and Gonarezhou. The park will provide a huge eco-tourism opportunity for each country, as well as protect a large tract of land for wildlife and create an international bond between these governments as they all work toward the common goal of protecting wild-nature.
Many organizations have contributed to the important work of the Makuleke Transboundary Elephant project – and WILD is proud to be one of them!