Elephant Tracking Report No. 5: Late July to Late August 2011

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The below report has kindly been provided by Save the Elephants South Africa. Based at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, the team of Save the Elephants South Africa track elephants, including some of Africa’s biggest tuskers, across boundaries from Private Nature Reserves to National Parks and across international boundaries to Zimbabwe and Mocambique. They identify individual elephants, study population dynamics and habitat use, and examine the effects of elephants on key tree species. Guests of Tanda Tula Safari Camp are invited to visit the research centre to learn more about the amazing work that the team at Save the Elephants South Africa does.

Visit the Save the Elephants website (http://www.savetheelephants.org/) or become fans of their Facebook fan page (http://www.facebook.com/STE.SouthAfrica).

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Tracking Animals for Conservation
Elephant Tracking Report No. 5: Late July to Late August 2011

We bring you an update of the movement of 26 collared elephants in the Associated Private Nature Reserves (APNR), Kruger National Park (KNP) and Limpopo National Park (LNP) in Mozambique. On the 30th August we replaced a collar and fitted a new satellite collar to a bull elephant called Soshangane in the Balule Private Nature Reserve. We look forward to seeing his continued movements in this area for the next few years. Sadly, Mellow was found dead on the 7th of September in the KNP by Richard Sowry, the KNP Section Ranger. The cause of death is unknown but suspected to be intra-specific fighting.

Wessa, Tussle and Mac seem to be enjoying the KNP and spent all of the last month in the reserve. The positions of nine of the twelve elephants collared within the Makuleke Concession area of the KNP indicate that most of these elephants have stayed in the vicinity of the Limpopo River. Bvekenya has moved into LNP. We would like to use this opportunity to thank Wilderness Safari Trust, ConservAfrica and the US Fish and Wildlife Services for financially supporting our Northern KNP study. Collars were donated by Wilderness Safari Trust, South African Breweries (SAB), the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA) and the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Irving as well as Joan, Lapajuma and Umbabat spent most of the month roaming in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve, with Joan venturing further afield towards Phalaborwa Mining Company. Irving also spent his time moving into the Balule Private Nature Reserve. The Umbabat Private Nature Reserve was home to several of the elephants, such as Matambu, Diney and Classic while in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve we had many of our collared elephants staying nearby such as Gower, Proud, Yvonne, Summer and General. Intwandamela has been out of the Timbavati and venturing further afield yet again, in the Manyeleti for most of the month.

To help you understand the elephants and their movements the first position of the month is indicated with a diamond and the last position of the month is indicated with an elephant. Cows all point to the left and bulls to the right.

We hope you enjoy this latest report.
Save the Elephants – South Africa

Report prepared by Sarah Bergs
August 2011

Figure 1: Positions of elephants in northern Kruger NP 1st September 2011

Figure 2: Positions of elephants in the APNR 1st September 2011

Figure 3: Positions of elephants in the Kruger NP (Pafuri – Makuleke Concession Area) 1st September 2011

Figure 4: Classic (upper red) Gower (blue) Summer (pink) Proud (orange) and Yvonne (lower red). Classic started the month in the Timbavati PNR, but soon headed up in a straight line into the Umbabat, where he has spent the remainder of his time roaming around. Gower and Proud have spent much time overlapping their movements this month as they traversed between the Umbabat and the Timbavati, where they both ended the month. Summer kept to herself this month with very little movement as she stayed in the Timbavati PNR.

Figure 5: Captain Hook (green) and Wessa (yellow). Captain Hook’s movements before his collar was removed are depicted in green. Wessa seems to thoroughly enjoy the area near to the Letaba River, as he spent most of the last month here.

Figure 6: Diney (blue) and Matambu (green). Diney has limited her movement to the northern corner of the Umbabat for this month and overlapped briefly with Matambu who started the month near the Kruger border, headed down into the Umbabat PNR for most of the month – heading into the KNP for a brief stint, before coming back into the Umbabat.

Figure 7: General. In keeping with his June and July movements, General again spent most of his time in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in relatively close proximity to the Timbavati River.

Figure 8: Intwandamela. Intwandamela started and ended the month within the Manyeleti Nature Reserve, spending quite a lot of his time near the Nwaswitsontso River, where he could enjoy the vegetation and available water.

Figure 9: Irving (blue) and Umbabat (purple). Irving spent much time in the same traversing as Umbabat, as they both meandered around the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve for much of the month. Later on, however, Irving headed more west towards the Balule Private Nature Reserve. Umbabat did not venture further and ended her month in the Klaserie PNR.

Figure 10: Lapajuma (pink) and Joan (purple). Lapajuma and Joan both enjoyed their traversing in Klaserie this month with Lapajuma spending much of her time in a consolidated area around and near the Olifants River. Joan started the month still exploring the PMC (Palaborwa Mining Company) before later crossing the Olifants River and heading back into the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve.

Figure 11: Tussle and Mac. Both Mac and Tussle again limited their movements to the Kruger National Park, with Mac enjoying his preferred area near the Shingwedzi River. Tussle had a slow meander north as he ventured up, crossing the Tsende River and ending the month near the Shingwedzi River, although further along its course than Mac.

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