Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2739

Full Length Research Paper

Changes in elephant movement and home ranges in the Waza region, Cameroon

  Désiré Foguekem1,2*, Martin Ngankam Tchamba1, Mathew LeBreton2 and Pierre Ngassam2 and Mike Loomis3  
  1WWF Cameroon Program Office, P. O. Box 6776, Yaoundé, Cameroon. 2University of Yaounde 1, Faculty of Science, Department of Animal Biology P. O. Box 812 Yaoundé, Cameroon. 3North Carolina Zoological Park, 4401 Zoo Parkway, Asheboro, North Carolina, USA.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 29 September 2009
  •  Published: 31 December 2009

Abstract

 

Waza elephant began migrating after an ill-fated and partially remediate dam altered the hydrology and vegetation of the Waza National Park in 1980. Consequently, human/elephant clashes have been taking places. Before 1994, home ranges were 3066 km² for elephant migrating North of the park and 2484 km² for the Southern migrant cow, with the longest distance-movements computed at 80 km and 100 km respectively. It was anticipated that, with improvement of the habitat of the park by artificial flooding in 1994 - 1997, elephant might shift their movements spending more time in the park, thus, reducing their impact on local agriculture. The movements of these elephants were studied from 2000 to 2002 with Argos satellite telemetry technique. Changes in elephant movement were observed. Home ranges varied from 5896 km² for elephant migrating Northward and 3679 - 5339 km² for the herd undertaking Southward migration, with long distance movement calculated at 31 km and 44 - 72 km, respectively. The shift in the long distance-movements and home ranges of the studied population appears as consequences of marked monthly environmental fluctuations, differences in the productivity of elephant’s habitats after the artificial flooding. Elephant migration around Waza National Park emphasizes the conservation value of areas contiguous to protected areas.

 

Key words: Waza region, elephant, distance movement, migration, home-range, Argos satellite.