Biophysical and human factors determine the distribution of poached elephants in Tsavo East National Park, Kenya

D.M. Kyale, S.M. Ngene, J. Maingi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigates the distribution of poached elephants as well as the biophysical and anthropogenic factors that determine the distribution of the poached elephants in Tsavo East National Park (TENP), Kenya. Data on the distribution of poached elephants, from 1990 to 2005, were acquired from elephant mortality database of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The distribution of poached elephants was not random but exhibited a clustered pattern. Poaching of elephants was higher in the central and northern areas of TENP. Poaching hotspots occurred along the main rivers (i.e. Tiva, Galana and Voi Rivers). During the wet season, a high density of poached elephants was recorded within the grassland, bushland and open bushland. In the dry season, the density of poached elephants was highest in the woodland, bushland, open bushland and grassland environments. The distribution of poached elephants was significantly correlated with land cover, proximity to main rivers, surface water, ranger patrol bases, park gates, roads and park boundaries. Priority security patrols should be performed along the Galana, Tiva and Voi Rivers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-60
JournalPachyderm
Volume49
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • luangwa-valley
  • illegal exploitation
  • law-enforcement
  • ivory trade
  • zambia
  • ecosystem
  • patterns
  • habitat

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