EWB is a strong and capable organization, but we recognize the vital role of forming strategic alliances and partnerships with organizations and individuals who share a common vision and purpose, in order to reach a shared goal together and to achieve conservation at a meaningful scale.

Collaborations allow us to do more than we ever could on our own.
Ecosystems are fragile. Strong partnerships between EWB, non-profit organizations and other conservation groups are restoring and protecting wildlife corridors and the ecosystems elephants need to survive. The following ventures explain EWB’s investments, locally and regionally, in building alliances and supporting partners in an effort to find viable solutions and create a healthier world for elephants.

Savute Channel Elephant Project

In 1982, water in the Savute Channel and Savute Marsh began to disappear. The gradual draining away of water in the channel was attributed to lower flood levels, which come from the north. Other reasons for lower water levels were in turn attributed to lower rainfall, tectonic shift and blockages further up the Kwando River. Soon the Savute Channel was dry. In an effort to bring relief to wildlife living in the region the Botswana Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) drilled five boreholes to augment water by pumping artificial water points in the heart of the Chobe National Park. Since then, a known attraction of Savute has been its artificial waterholes and big elephant tuskers who seek refuge around these water points during the hot dry season.

In May 2009, the Savute Channel started to flow again and by January 2010, water was entering the Savute Marsh. The Linyanti Swamps feed the Savute Channel which meanders in an easterly direction for some 100km until it reaches the Savute Marsh. The full channel now acts as a giant water trough running through the arid sands of Botswana's northern Kalahari. Elephants now make use of this river along its entire length, from the Zibadianja Lagoon in the west to the Savute Marsh, feeding on the surrounding vegetation as they move.

The DWNP has therefore stopped providing water via the artificial waterholes due to the abundance of fresh water in the channel. This study will investigate the effects of the recent flow and availability of water in the Savute Channel on elephant movements in the region.

With support received from the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, we deployed satellite collars on elephants along the Savute Channel. This long-term movement study will provide important information on the spatial ecology of elephants in this dynamic system. In this study we aim to: Determine the influence of water availability in the Savute Channel on the seasonal home ranges, distribution and movements of collared elephants; Compare the home ranges and seasonal movements of elephants when the Savute Channel was dry; and Compare the movements of elephants along the Savute Channel with those collared along the Boteti River, which has also recently started flowing again after many dry years.

To read more about EWB’s elephant tracking programs: Tracking page

Okavango Panhandle Surveys

The Okavango Panhandle is the worst human-elephant conflict (HEC) area in Botswana. In this troublesome conflict zone, elephants are trapped by the Caprivi border fence and northern buffalo fence. The impenetrable floodplains of the Okavango River restrict elephants moving west out of the region. Within this 8500sq km area, the only permanent water is in the Okavango River, where many settlements are located. During the dry season, elephant herds run a daily gauntlet through settlements to reach water in the Okavango River. How many elephant are trapped in this region? What is the population growth rate? What management options are there to help relieve this compression?
To help answer these pertinent questions EWB collaborated with Anna Songhurst, a PhD student from the University of Botswana and Imperial College, London who is studying HEC. Together we flew 2 aerial surveys. The first survey, conducted in August 2008, yielded an estimate of 9000 elephants trapped in the Okavango triangle. In July 2010, the second survey was conducted and the survey results are now being analyzed.
EWB suggests that corridors be created to allow elephant to move out of this region. Corridors must be created along wildlife migration paths that meet up with the fence. Creating small gaps or openings in the fence will allow elephants to move into the Caprivi and Angola where elephant densities are low and relieve HEC along the Okavango River.

To read more about EWB’s wildlife aerial survey counts: Surveys Page

Reintroduction of Habituated Elephants into the Wild

EWB is collaborating with Roger and Jessica Parry from Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust (WHWT) to reintroduce and monitor previously habituated elephants back into the wild.
The first reintroduction occurred in 2008, when an adult elephant bull, named Damiano, was collared with a satellite collar and released from the Wild Horizons facility, just southeast of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Presently, the two organizations have been successfully monitoring Damiano over the course of two years, continually downloading and mapping his movements, while conducting visual ground checks, to ensure his safety and successful reintroduction. Largely due to Damiano’s successful release, in July 2010, EWB and WHWT fitted two more satellite collars on two other bull elephants, Jack and Rastus, to monitor their reintroduction and movements. The bulls were transported and released in Hwange NP, Zimbabwe.
This important project will shed some critical information on the reintroduction of elephants back into their wild habitat. Through this strong partnership, we aim to provide other projects with guidance on how to conduct successful elephant releases and information on how the elephants have adapted to their releases. We look forward to sharing the lessons we have learned about these three elephant reintroductions through a detailed publication.

Post Monitoring of Released Elephant, "Mary"
Elephants Without Borders is proud to be part of the post-monitoring team for Mary, the largest female in a herd of 9 elephants, that were once captured and found to be mistreated. The Zimbabwe SPCA (ZNSPCA) approached the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Honourable Minister Nhema, and officials from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (NPWMA) to discuss the dilemma of the elephants. It was agreed that the captive elephants would be trans-located and released back into the wild. The elephants were released in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe on Nov 3 2009. Mary was fitted with a satellite collar to monitor the herd.
To view or download the media release written by Glynis Vaughan of ZNSPCA,
Click Here


“… building alliances in an effort to find viable solutions…”

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