At least five South African nations have finalised plans of using an aerial survey to count elephants, and this is happening for the first time.
Southern Africa holds more than half of the world’s total population of elephants and need to have a concrete idea of the number of elephants in the region.
The survey will involve the use of fixed-wing aircraft in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfortier Conservation Area. This area includes Botswana’s Okavanago Delta and Africa’s highest waterfall, the Victoria Waterfall between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
An idea of the number of animals in the region will help manage them better according to wildlife experts in the southern countries.
All five countries hold about 220,000 elephants with various issues being faced in the past including poaching of elephants to kill them and sell their tusks for medicinal purposes in Asia.
According to the University of Pretoria and the Namibian government figures, Botswana and Namibia have the highest number of elephants in the world and on the continent.
Despite criticisms, poaching is still a big problem in some parts of Africa with Zimbabwe only recently recovering 30,000 elephants.
The surge in the presence of animals in Africa has led to contentions between farmers whose lands are destroyed and animal caregivers.
The exercise is expected to cost as much as $4million.