Elephants Without Borders (EWB)
Without Borders is a charitable organization dedicated to conserving
wildlife and natural resources; through innovative research, education,
and information sharing with all people, we strive to encourage
mankind to live in harmony with wildlife and the natural world.
The African elephant is an ambassador for conservation,
providing motivation for raising awareness, stimulating action,
encouraging funding for conservation efforts, and generating opportunities
to reconsider the boundaries between conservation and rural development.
EWB’s vision is to open borders for Africa’s wildlife
through research and education, and to help ensure a prosperous
and compatible future between people and wildlife.
Announcing Elephants Without Borders new
“The Population Status and Spatial Ecology of Large Herbivores
in Northern Botswana”
Throughout much of Africa, large herbivore and
carnivore populations have been affected by habitat destruction
and excessive hunting. Demand for additional land for pastoral and
arable agriculture has resulted in domestic animals and crop fields
replacing the diverse communities of wild herbivores over large
areas. Concern has recently been expressed about the status of several
large mammals all over Africa and in Botswana, specifically in the
Okavango Delta, one of the largest Ramsar sites in the world. The
causes for the observed declines are not well understood but it
has been postulated that they could be related to a number of factors
including changing flooding regime, habitat fragmentation, anthropogenic
pressures and possibly an expanding elephant population.
the Botswana government has realized that the fundamental key to
effective wildlife conservation and management is long-term, science-based
research, and thus has granted Elephants Without Borders (EWB) a
research permit to study the population status and spatial ecology
of large herbivores in northern Botswana. Aside from EWB’s
ongoing elephant research, these new projects, in collaboration
with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), are in
response to recently published evidence of declines in wildlife
population numbers across northern Botswana. Assessing the impacts
of current land use polices and practices on the long-term sustainability
of northern Botswana’s ecosystems will require in depth studies
at larger spatial and temporal scales than has been the case to
date. While there are some obvious explanations for some wildlife
population downward trends, such as recurrent droughts, the blocking
of migration routes by veterinary fences and other land-use related
issues, the population dynamics and spatial ecology of large herbivores
across northern Botswana is still not fully understood. While site-specific
studies have provided vital information, a multi-species landscape
approach to understanding the distribution, abundance and movements
of wildlife across northern Botswana is now needed.
Recently EWB began their herbivore ecology research
by collaring buffalo, giraffe and zebra in NG26 within the Okavango
Delta providing an ideal location from which to base a pilot study,
to begin to understand the factors affecting wildlife populations.
Further wildlife monitoring will be conducted by EWB’s projects
throughout Northern Botswana, incorporating Msc, Doctoral and Post-doctoral
collaborative students from Universities in Botswana, the United
States, Australia, South Africa, the UK and Europe thus far, to
gather and analyze the data sets.