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Linking two elephant refuges with a corridor in the communal lands of Zimbabwe

Osborn, F.; Parker, G.

African Journal of Ecology ch; 41(1): 68-74

2003


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2028.2003.00413.x
Accession: 010925272

Wildlife corridors, protected bands of suitable habitat linking core populations of plants and animals, are seen as the best solution to the problem of habitat fragmentation. A corridor between two wildlife refuges was identified in the communal lands of Zimbabwe. Results of tracking the current preferred migration of bull elephants between the two refuges using radio collars were combined with a GIS analysis to examine the zone where conservation of habitat would have least impact on current activities within the communal lands. A suitable corridor was identified using least-cost analysis allowing for the improved conservation of the elephants and therefore potentially increasing the benefits to local residents by both reducing human/elephant conflict and increasing income from sport hunting and tourism in the region. Recent political violence in the corridor region, the illegal killing of elephants and the loss of suitable habitat makes the implementation of this corridor unlikely.

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