Maputo Special Reserve Ele Collaring

August 2021
Preventing human-wildlife conflict

There is a movement of elephants between the national parks in South Africa and Mozambique, including between Kruger National Park, Limpopo National Park, Maputo Special Reserve and Tembe Elephant Reserve where elephants are making extroardinary migrations. Crucially however, in our ever populated world, in making these migrations they are moving through sometimes heavily populated areas and there has been a big increase in human-elephant conflict. There are multiple tools available to help prevent this conflict, keeping both elephants and people safe, but without knowing WHERE the elephants are moving, it is hard to deploy the tools.

The aim of this elephant collar is to add to our understanding of the CORRIDORS elephants are using as they migrate between these great national parks. With corrdiors identified, mitigation efforts such as creating natural barriers between people and elephants using beehive fences can be implemented! This research is spearheaded by Michelle Henley and her team at Elephants Alive.

In collaboration between Elephants Alive, Save the Elephants, Mozambique Wildlife Alliance, Wildlife Helicopters Mozambique and Peace Parks, Wild Wonderful World assisted in deploying an elephant collar on a problem elephant bull who was regularly crop raiding outside of Maputo Specia Reserve. The elephant was darted with a tranquilizer by helicopter. With his elephant pal waiting in the bushes nearby, our ground team moved in to collar the elephant. Key measurements were taken including his size, nail and hair samples for DNA and photograohs taken of the ticks on his body for identification & further research. The collar itself was successfully fitted and the elephant sedative reversed.

A very memorable collaring operation with an incredible team of people including;

Carlos Pereira - wildlife vet and conservation hero from from Wildlife Conservation Society Mozambique

Vets Jao, Hugo & Ignacios and Antonio from Wildlife Allianz Mozambqiue

Dr Lucy King - Save the Elephants Kenya (whose research pioneered beehive fences)

Dr Michelle Henley, Jessica Wilmot from Elephants Alive (conducting this research and implementing the human-elephant mitigation toolbox)

IronMan4x4 Africa (Alti, Deon & Quinton) & Wild Wonderful World (Grant and Michelle)

Ivan & Brook Carter - filming for their conservation documentary, who joined us for the operation

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