Shenton Safaris

Botswana 2018 aerial survey – of elephants, baobabs and cattle

Location of suspected poached (red) and natural (yellow) elephant carcasses seen throughout the survey

Location of suspected poached (red) and natural (yellow) elephant carcasses seen throughout the survey © Elephants Without Borders

Botswana elephants – to trophy hunt and cull, or not?

The current international furore over a Botswana government White Paper (discussion document) regarding elephant management necessitates an understanding of the entire picture. This post is one of eight posts from various sources looking at this issue from different angles.

The other seven posts you should read to get the full picture:

Botswana government announcement – hunting ban should be lifted
• Botswana government questions elephant survey report by Dr Mike Chase
• Personal statement from Dr Mike Chase, who is being widely quoted (and misquoted) by international news media, with regard to elephant poaching statistics
• Opinion post from Dereck Joubert – conservation spokesperson, filmmaker and lodge owner
• Opinion post from Gail Potgieter – human-wildlife conflict specialist
Opinion post from Clare Doolan – tourism industry product and sales manager
Opinion post from Erik Verreynne – livestock and wildlife veterinary surgeon in Botswana


The much-debated 2018 aerial survey of Botswana’s wildlife is now available to members of the public via the Elephants Without Borders website.

Specific aspects of this survey have been the subject of heated social media debate and political posturing from all sides. Which is a pity, because this peer-reviewed report covers a lot more than the numbers of elephant carcasses – be they fresh, old, poached or natural deaths. You can also read about how baobab trees are being impacted by elephants, about significant increases in populations of many species and reductions in others, and about fluctuations in livestock numbers.

This fascinating and comprehensive report is well worth the read, especially if you wish to participate meaningfully in these important discussions.

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