I am here to research the decision-making process around human-wildlife interactions, looking at the policies and interviewing decision-makers to see how they see the challenges and benefits of living with wildlife.
Elephants & People
This project will contribute a gendered view to discussions of the local impacts of community conservation, which have all but been ignored to this point. In addition to being important for local women and their livelihoods, these considerations are also crucial as transfrontier conservation initiatives such as the KAZA TFCA
Through the tall grasses we could barely make out the massive bodies of elephants up ahead. We tried to scan their backs to take note of the satellite unit on Mary, but we could not identify her. A large female with a calf detected us, “strangers”, in the brush. She perked her head and ears up as she moved forward to investigate.
With a shake of her massive head, she quickly moved around the vehicle, leading another 30 elephants behind her. Dust filled our nostrils, ears and eyes, but we kept them wide-open, anxiously looking through the haze for more. We realized we weren’t on the edge of the corridor, we were right in the middle of it!
The Okavango panhandle is a unique area… a system where wildlife, in particular elephants, and people struggle to live within a confined area.The purpose of the survey is to answer pertinent questions as to the area’s population of elephants, their growth rate, their limited movements, an insight to human-elephant conflict in the region, and to potentially be able to put forward various management options to relieve elephant compression and their conflict with people.