Conservation Science and Elephant Management in Southern Africa

Scientific paper on Kruger National Park elephant culling debate

The prevailing increase in elephant numbers across areas of southern Africa raises concern for their impact on biological diversity. Several approaches to elephant management focus on limiting numbers to alleviate these consequences. However, landscape fragmentation, fences, water supplementation as well as the shape and size of some conservation areas restrict range use and intensify the effects of elephants. We propose that the consequences of range limitation may best be addressed by restoring seasonal and regional patterns of land use. It can be achieved by linking existing conservation landscapes both nationally and internationally. This, rather than the management of numbers, should reduce local impact and help to stabilize elephant numbers regionally.

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