In October GNAP carried out GPS collaring operation on 2 elephants and 1 buffalo.
The operation was managed with the support of veterinarian João Almeida from Mozambique Wildlife Alliance and pilot Peter Perlstein from Wildlife Helicopters Mozambique.
A total of 2 days and approximately 16 hours of flight time were spent.
The team captured a matriarch (adult, alpha female of a group of 14 elephants) who was named Cécile. A collar on an elephant named Achille was replaced: his transmitter was about to die because of the battery. Achille is an interesting young bull that we initially placed with the big adult bull named Alessandro.
Since then, Achille moves from one family group to another, sometimes with Alesandro, sometimes alone. He is an helpful elephant to learn more about the family groups we have in the GNAP. He also often goes to raid the communities’ crop fields.
Since the purpose of GNAP is to develop virtual enclosures with the Earth Ranger system that can alert communities when elephants approach, it is important to continue monitoring Achille. It was planned that 2 other collars that did not work anymore would be changed, but the elephants Alessandro and Ricardina were not found.
Regarding the buffalo, the last collar had stopped transmitting a few months ago. In the last period it was essential to continue monitoring, especially on the largest known herd located near Mount Pope. The monitoring team managed to find the herd with about 74 buffalo. The female with a dead collar was not found. So a collar was placed on a new adult female. About 14 calves were spotted in the herd (what a good news). Aerial surveillance and the support of a field team from early morning meant that the herd was found very quickly.