Since the early-1980s the number of fenced elephant populations on private property in South Africa has grown substantially. These small populations (comprising < 1000 individuals) represent considerable risks and challenges to the development and implementation of elephant-related policy and legislation, given prospects of unconstrained population growth, biodiversity impacts, human-wildlife conflicts, poaching and the demand for hunting. In addition, many of the management interventions prescribed in the National Norms and Standards for the management of elephant in South Africa are being implemented across these populations. 

Thus, to support of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ responsibility of developing and implementing evidence-based policy and legislation for the management of elephant, the Centre for African Conservation Ecology is undertaking elephant research aligned with the priorities identified in the South African Elephant Research Strategy. One such aspect will be to develop a clearer understanding of the locations, profiles and management of small, fenced elephant populations in South Africa.


Information gathered will be available for circulating during mid-2017.