Poaching of elephants is reportedly increasing in Botswana.
A recently released report from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) shows that 62 elephants were killed in 2017-2018 compared with 42 in 2016-2017.
The report shows there has also been an increase in trafficking of elephant tusks – 109 tusks were trafficked in 2017/2018 (as of end of February) compared with 48 in 2016/2017. This is according to the numbers of tusks recovered.
According to the report, affected areas include Central Kalahari Game Reserve; Ngamiland district (northern Botswana), which includes the Okavango Delta; Central Botswana; and Chobe, which forms the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. High concentrations of most species in these areas, especially elephants and predators, lead to the high poaching incidents. Linyanti and Shaile areas along the Namibian border have become hotspots of elephant poaching.
Elephants are poached for their ivory and antelopes for consumption. Kgalagadi reportedly has seen a new breed of poachers, who take predators alive for their teeth, nails and skin.
DWNP is working intensively to manage the situation. The use of the national anti-poaching strategy, derived from Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Anti-Poaching Strategy, has been put in place.
Botswana is also building three camps to intensify its anti-poaching efforts in Maun, Kasane, and Kang. Construction of the Kasane anti-poaching camp has been halted due to shortage of funds.