The Great Elephant Census – Congo and Uganda

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By , August 28, 2015 11:17 am

AWS is supporting the Great Elephant Census by conducting technical reviews of aerial surveys that have been conducted in Uganda and the Congo.  Dozens of researchers are flying in light aircraft to capture comprehensive observational data of elephants and elephant carcasses. The project supported by the Paul Allen Foundation is designed to provide accurate and up-to-date data about the number and distribution of African elephants using standardized aerial surveys of tens of hundreds of thousands of square kilometres. A standardized method of data collection, requires validation by independent advisors.

There has not been a pan-African census in over 40 years, and none have been completed using a standardized process and an independent validation process.  The resulting database is designed to provide valuable information to governments, scientists, NGOs and all wildlife stakeholders in Africa so they can make strategic decisions on how to manage and protect elephant populations. More information is available here.

  Strip transect methodology – great elephant count

Elephant bulls – great elephant count

A herd of eland counted on a computer

AWS was at the International Wildlife Diseases Association conference, Sunshine Coast.

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By , August 14, 2015 1:55 pm

George Wilson attended the International Wildlife Diseases Association conference on Sunshine Coast, opened by Threatened Species Commissioner Gregory Andrew. There was a great turn out and many enlightening presentations.

The major theme was emerging human and wildlife diseases that result from spill-over of pathogens to other hosts, such as Hendra, Ebola, SARS, MERS.

Other interesting discussions took place, including diseases in koalas, frogs, Tassie devils and cats. A report was also given by Tim Portas, on the improvements of condition and health to the Mulligans Flat bettongs.

Abstracts can be found here.

RIP Cecil the lion – what will be his legacy? And who should decide?

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By , August 7, 2015 11:40 am

Here is a link to an article on Cecile the lion: RIP Cecil the lion – what will be his legacy? And who should decide?

It discusses whether a ban on hunting would indeed improve the conservation of African species or lead to further decline.

Bans on trophy hunting in Tanzania (1973-78), Kenya (1977) and Zambia (2000-03) accelerated a rapid loss of wildlife due to the removal of incentives for conservation. Early anecdotal reports suggest this may already be happening in Botswana, which banned all hunting last year.”

It is an important conversation to be had. Authored by Rosie Cooney, Chair of the IUCN’s CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group