Article (Scientific journals)
How to count elephants in West African savannahs? Synthesis and comparison of main gamecount methods
Bouché, Philippe; Lejeune, Philippe; Vermeulen, Cédric
2012In Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement, 16 (1), p. 77-91
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Keywords :
African elephant,; animal population; game-count methods; threatened species; aerial count; ground count
Abstract :
[en] The comparison of some elephants count methods – aerial sampling count, aerial total count and direct foot count – has been presented through surveys’ study cases implemented in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. We compare them in terms of effort and cost to survey an area (sampling efficiency), efficiency in data collection (detection efficiency) as well as accuracy and precision. Aerial sampling count returns low sampling and detection efficiency and very low precision and accuracy figures when counting elephants populations below 0.5 elephant.km-2. Precision can partly be improved by stratification. Direct foot count returns the best sampling and detection efficiency but insufficient data number to produce reliable estimates. Therefore some authors often produced no results for elephants. Aerial total count is a costly method in absolute value. It requires important logistic and no measure of error is possible. However it provides relatively good sampling and detection efficiency as well as relatively accurate figures appreciated by wildlife managers if technical requirements are respected. Aerial total count could be recommended to survey small population of West African elephants each 3 to 5 years to minimize yearly count costs.
Disciplines :
Environmental sciences & ecology
Author, co-author :
Bouché, Philippe ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Lejeune, Philippe ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Gestion des ressources forestières et des milieux naturels
Vermeulen, Cédric ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Forêts, Nature et Paysage > Laboratoire de Foresterie des régions trop. et subtropicales
Language :
English
Title :
How to count elephants in West African savannahs? Synthesis and comparison of main gamecount methods
Publication date :
2012
Journal title :
Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement
ISSN :
1370-6233
eISSN :
1780-4507
Publisher :
ULg Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, Gembloux, Belgium
Volume :
16
Issue :
1
Pages :
77-91
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Available on ORBi :
since 14 March 2012

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