Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Mon Oct 13, 2014 3:44 pm

KZN receives elephant contraceptive
2014-10-13 14:04

Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal's Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park has received its first contraceptive vaccine to prevent elephant overpopulation, the Humane Society International (HSI) and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife said on Monday.

The contraceptive programme allows elephant populations to be managed humanely, to slow their growth rates, and to maintain the ecosystem, HSI and Ezemvelo said in a joint statement.

Use of the contraceptive at the park began on 4 October.

"The immuno-contraception vaccine contains agents that, when injected into African elephant cows, causes an immune response that prevents eggs from being fertilised by sperm", it said.

"The vaccine is delivered remotely by dart gun, making the technique minimally invasive and eliminating the need for anaesthetisation."

Immuno-contraception is a non-hormonal form of contraception based on scientific principles of immunisation through vaccination.

"In total, four populations will receive three years of treatment under an agreement between Ezemvelo, iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority, and HSI", the statement said.

The programme is being funded by Ezemvelo, HSI and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service through the African Elephant Conservation Fund.

"We are very pleased to work with Ezemvelo in helping control elephant populations in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park", said HSI field director Audrey Delsink.

"We're delighted to see more and more elephant managers count on this technology to control elephant population growth in a proactive, effective and humane manner, and hope it becomes universally adopted."

HSI said research conducted over the past 18 years demonstrated that immuno-contraception was a safe and effective way to control the elephant population.

"It has no effect on behaviour."


Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:12 pm

If KZN can afford it, why can't Kruger? :-?

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Mon Oct 13, 2014 7:06 pm

Kruger is too big and apparently poor, Lis... :-?

HSI said research conducted over the past 18 years demonstrated that immuno-contraception was a safe and effective way to control the elephant population.

"It has no effect on behaviour."

I wonder where this research could be viewed, as an actual long-term African enclosed game park scientific study, regarding the "no effect on behaviour" part? -O-

18 years is a long time...sounds like a zoo project?

But ja, if it works, excellent! \O

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:36 pm

Richprins wrote:

I wonder where this research could be viewed, as an actual long-term African enclosed game park scientific study, regarding the "no effect on behaviour" part? -O-

18 years is a long time...sounds like a zoo project?

But ja, if it works, excellent! \O

1996-2000 first field trials in KNP
2000 onwards Makalali Game Reserve
2004 onwards Phinda
2007 onwards Tembe
2013 onwards Addo

.. this is only what I know of, there might be more

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Tue May 19, 2015 6:06 pm

If one looks back over this thread, various SP "guesstimates" have been given regarding the actual number of elephant in Kruger.

Found out today that it is acknowledged by SP as 22 000 now, still using the statistical method, but with a 30% plus actual survey done and extrapolated.

Whatever the accuracy, the thing is last year it was acknowledged to be around 2 thousand fewer.

Elephant from Mozambique are re-entering Kruger at a rapid and confirmed rate, in response to poaching in that country. They are highly sensitive.

We have a drier than normal season coming here, as per reports of water levels in large parts of Kruger, and waterpoint closures over the years.

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Thu May 21, 2015 5:52 pm

The elephant re-entering applies mostly to the North of Kruger, where there are very few perennial streams/rivers between the Letaba and Luvhuvhu.

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:57 am ... nts-wessa/

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi elephant contraception plan put into place

The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) has embarked on an elephant monitoring project in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to provide essential data to support and strengthen Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’smanagement of elephant populations in the park as well as enhance a broader understanding of how best to manage elephant populations in closed systems.

The elephant population in the park is fast approaching its maximum capacity, and this is causing problems in the closed environment.

Elephants are known as a keystone species because they have a disproportionate ability to alter their habitat and to dramatically affect other species in the ecosystems in which they live.

They therefore require extensive ranges to maintain healthy populations and, as ecological engineers, “they can be either a threat or an asset to biodiversity in a closed system,” WESSA says.

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is a medium-sized reserve of 96 000ha with a growing elephant population, which is fast approaching the reserve’s ecological carrying capacity of around 1 000 individuals.

While this is wonderful news for the elephant population as a whole, the elephant are becoming too many for the park’s ecosystem to handle. Therefore, the park’s management have been implementing a contraception programme where adult cows are darted from a helicopter with a contraceptive as part of an Elephant Management Plan to control numbers.

If this method proves effective it will provide an attractive alternative to culling or trans-location.

Advance elephant monitoring needed

A key aim of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park’s Elephant Management Plan, drawn up by Park Ecologist Dave Druce and others, is to “Maintain the elephant population in a state that does not jeopardise the conservation of biodiversity elements, priority biological assets or the maintenance of ecological processes within the Park”.

In support of the contraception programme, accurate on-the-ground tracking and data collection is essential to inform elephant conservation and broader management strategies in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, WESSA says.

Although 18 of the park’s adult cow elephants are fitted with tracking collars, it has been more than two years since the last field monitor was employed and data was collected.

Chris Galliers from WESSA’s Biodiversity Programme has now facilitated a resumption of the monitoring work to redress the data gap and ensure close observation of the contraceptive programme.

This builds on WESSA’s 2014 funding support for a full aerial count of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park elephant and rhino populations.

Some recently accessed funding has now allowed WESSA to appoint Timothy Kuiper as an elephant research monitor in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.

Kuiper is working under Druce where his monitoring activities include building up the individual elephant photograph database and field ID kits; collecting data on herd demographics and family structure; monitoring elephant movements from GPS collar data; and assisting on the ground with contraception operations.

The current project duration is for five months, but it is hoped that this work can be continued if additional funding is secured. The project is also collaborating with Michelle Henley from Elephants Alive – a long term WESSA partner and member of the Elephant Specialist Advisory Group – to draw on her expertise as well as to ensure that there is shared learning with her work on elephant populations in the Lowveld.

WESSA has been involved in elephant conservation issues for most of its 90-year existence.

Elephants and their conservation were central to WESSAs successful campaigning for the establishment of the Kruger National Park in 1926, the Addo Elephant National Park in 1931 and the later expansion of Addo in 2002.

This latest project supports the overall aim of WESSA’s Biodiversity Programme, which is to promote harmonious and integrated management between people and nature in conservation work.

The vast amounts of elephant in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, despite the overall dire stance of elephants elsewhere, is but a small example of the highly complicated system of managing wild animals in closed environments.

Conservation journalist Scott Ramsay for Traveller24 recently wrote how elephants higher up in Africa have declined with 97% in less than a century.

“Accurate estimates suggest that there were 12 million elephants in the early 1900s,” Ramsay found. And today there are only 350 000, which includes both savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis).

WESSA, however, says it is excited and optimistic that this venture will add value to the work that Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife is doing to protect these magnificent creatures, that it will improve our understanding around the management of closed elephant populations in South Africa and enhance decision-making by reserve managers.

Original article: ... isapp=true

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Thu Mar 10, 2016 6:39 pm

Andrew Desmond from South African National Parks (SANParks) says hippopotamus have started dying in large numbers due to the drought.

“This is one of the options that is being considered at the moment. We will have to give up some of the animals, may be harvest those animals and supply meat to some of our communities neighbouring our park,” says Desmond. ... e-animals-

As said many pages ago, this is the way to go regarding helping communities, making Kruger "sustainable", etc. Hippo won't be sustainable in this regard, but elephant big time! Kruger elephant could solve the Sub-saharan African protein crisis almost indefinitely, IMO!

And .gov will get many votes! -O-

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:22 am

Pienaar said they were investigating whether the park could provide meat for the people outside the park, especially the neediest, such as those at old-age homes and orphanages, especially since it was likely that animals that break out of the park would need to be removed. ... or-kruger/

Re: Elephant Hunting/Culling/Contraception

Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:46 pm

What has hippo culling to do with elephant management?