SANParks Seeks Evidence for Knysna Elephant

Dlamini-Zuma Dismisses Rumors of Joining MK Party
March 7, 2024
“Threats Bring Arrest Warning from Ramaphosa”
March 7, 2024
Dlamini-Zuma Dismisses Rumors of Joining MK Party
March 7, 2024
“Threats Bring Arrest Warning from Ramaphosa”
March 7, 2024

SANParks Seeks Evidence for Knysna Elephant

Knsya Elephant. Photo Supplied

SANParks (South African National Parks) has embarked on a comprehensive evidence-based approach to guide future management decisions regarding the presence of a wild female elephant in the Knysna forest and fynbos areas under its jurisdiction. To gather crucial data, SANParks conducted sociological and ecological assessments.

The sociological assessment, a targeted survey with a 74% response rate from 500 contacts, revealed support for introducing more elephants to the Garden Route elephant range. However, respondents also recognized the complexity of the situation and advised a cautious, expert-guided approach.

“Most respondents advised that there must be a cautious management approach that is informed by inputs from elephant specialists, followed by landowners and conservation authorities,” SANParks stated.

The ecological studies focused on the elephant’s physiological condition, behaviour, potential human-wildlife conflict areas, and the reasons behind the historical decline of the elephant population. These assessments confirmed the presence of only one female elephant and identified her feeding range.

“Camera trap footage showed her to be relaxed while in high human-use areas or events but where she was being followed by humans, the stress hormones in her dung were high,” SANParks reported, indicating her avoidance of areas with high human presence.

Both the social and ecological studies support low-risk, cautious, and minimally disruptive management options, acknowledging the need for expert guidance in any decision-making process regarding the Knysna elephant.