Original Research

Age structure of elephants in Liwonde National Park, Malawi

R. Bhima, J. du P. Bothma
Koedoe | Vol 40, No 2 | a269 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v40i2.269 | © 1997 R. Bhima, J. du P. Bothma | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 August 1997 | Published: 06 August 1997

About the author(s)

R. Bhima, University of Pretoria, South Africa
J. du P. Bothma, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The age structure of the elephant population in Liwonde National Park, Malawi was determined for the first time in 1993 and again in 1995 using the photogrammetric method. Sampling was done during a four year-long severe drought from 1991/92 to 1994/95. The drought reached its highest intensity in the first year. Therefore, the study also attempted to assess the impact of the drought on the population. The results show that the population consisted of mostly young animals <5 years old (52.6 and 44.8 in 1993 and 1995, respectively). The other age cohorts were as follows: 6-10 years old - 16.1 and 21.7 ; 11-15 years old - 7.8 and 9.2 ; 16-20 years old - 5.2 and 4.7 ; and >20 years old - 18.3 and 20.5 . The population is young and growing. The prolonged drought did not have any significant impact on the population.

Keywords

Liwonde National Park, Malawi, elephant, Loxodonta africana, age structure, drought

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