The seasonal distribution of savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) in Nazinga Game Ranch, southern Burkina Faso

Emmanuel Midibahaye HEMA, Richard F.W. BARNES, Wendengoudi GUENDA

Abstract


Elephant wet and dry season distributions were compared at Nazinga Game Ranch in southern Burkina Faso. Dropping counts along line transects provided an index of occupancy at the end of each season: wet 2006, dry 2007 and dry 2008. We expected that the distribution of elephants would differ between the dry and the wet seasons, with elephants concentrating around water sources in the dry season and spreading out across the landscape during the wet season. Elephants were found to be clumped in both wet and dry seasons, although the degree of aggregation was much greater in the dry seasons, especially in the drier year of 2008. Human populations have increased dramatically around Nazinga in the last 15 years, and we speculate that the increasing abundance of crops outside in the wet season may influence the distribution of elephants inside the ranch area.

Keywords


Nazinga, Burkina Faso, Elephants, distribution, wet season, dry season

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