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2012 Regional Totals for Eastern Africa ("2013 AFRICA" analysis)

Reports > Loxodonta africana > 2012 > Africa > Eastern Africa

All Years for Eastern Africa: 20132007200219981995

2012 Summary Totals for Eastern Africa

Data Category Definite Probable Possible Speculative
Aerial or Ground Total Counts 33,692 0 0 0
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts 95,670 11,860 11,860 0
Other Dung Counts 449 1,106 263 0
Informed Guesses 988 0 4,577 1,458
Other Guesses 60 0 0 6,108
Totals 2012 130,859 12,966 16,700 7,566
Totals 2007 137,485 29,043 35,123 3,548

Area of Range Covered by Each Data Category (km²)

Data Category Known Range Possible Range Total Range
Aerial or Ground Total Counts 113,822 14,928 128,749
Direct Sample Counts and Reliable Dung Counts 263,288 19,043 282,332
Informed Guesses 45,552 13,519 59,071
Other Dung Counts 1,849 3 1,852
Other Guesses 20,355 5,466 25,822
Unassessed Range 191,932 183,560 375,492
Totals 636,799 236,519 873,318

Country and Regional Totals and Data Quality

Country Definite Probable Possible Speculative Range Area (km²) % of Regional Range % of Range Assessed IQI1 PFS2
Eritrea 96 0 8 0 5,275 1 100 .92 3
Ethiopia 628 0 220 912 38,417 4 68 .24 2
Kenya 26,365 771 3,825 5,299 111,423 13 90 .68 1
Rwanda 11 17 54 0 1,014 0 68 .23 4
Somalia 0 0 0 70 4,525 1 68 .00 3
South Sudan 1,172 5,882 5,882 0 309,897 35 35 .19 1
Tanzania 95,351 10,278 10,927 900 387,538 44 63 .56 1
Uganda 2,223 1,031 903 385 15,228 2 71 .51 2
Totals 130,859 12,966 16,700 7,566 873,318 100 57 .49 1

Eastern Africa: Summary

Although there were no new estimates for three countries in Eastern Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia), the major populations in the subregion were surveyed since the 2007 update from the African Elephant Database. 

A number of new areas were surveyed, mainly in the southern part of Sudan. In 2011, South Sudan became an independent state, and all of the surveyed elephant areas are in the newly created country.  Anecdotal reports of movement from Ethiopia and Eritrea into Sudan were reported at the 2012 African elephant range States meeting, which may warrant retaining Sudan as a range State, but as of the current update, there was no confirmation of these movements.

While overall estimates from Repeat Surveys show an increase in DEFINITES + PROBABLES (+3,376 ), the estimates should be also be viewed in the context of a surge in poaching across the subregion, particularly since 2010.  PIKE levels for Eastern Africa increased in 2010 and 2011, with the 2011 figure of 0.6 above the threshold at which elephant populations may be in decline across MIKE sites in the subregion.  2011 PIKE levels in the three largest populations in the subregion (Laikipia Samburu and Tsavo in Kenya, and Selous Mikumi in Tanzania) were above 0.6.  Carcass ratios in a number of recent surveys across the subregion are in alignment with the results from MIKE.  Demographic and behavioural research at one of the most well-studied MIKE sites, the Laikipia Samburu Ecosystem, shows the impact that poaching is having on this important population.

In recent years, Tanzania and Kenya have emerged in the latest ETIS cluster analysis as important transit countries for raw ivory departing the continent, with nearly half of the large-scale ivory seizures during the period 2009-2011 implicating the ocean seaports of Mombasa, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. Uganda and Ethiopia also emerged in the most recent ETIS analysis as countries of concern in the illegal ivory trade. Somalia has never submitted a single elephant product seizure to ETIS. 

Land use change and habitat fragmentation continue to threaten elephant range across this subregion, although some policy instruments are now in place to provide a framework for long-term planning for these ecosystems.  The East African CommunityTransboundary Ecosystems Bill was approved by the East African Legislative Assembly in 2012.  Both Kenya and Tanzania launched new elephant management plans in 2012.

1 IQI: Information Quality Index: This index quantifies overall data quality at the regional level based on the precision of estimates and the proportion of assessed elephant range (i.e. range for which estimates are available). The IQI ranges from zero (no reliable information) to one (perfect information).

2 PFS: Priority for Future Surveys, ranked from 1 to 5 (highest to lowest). Based on the precision of estimates and the proportion of national range accounted for by the site in question, PFS is a measure of the importance and urgency for future population surveys. All areas of unassessed range have a priority of 1. See Introduction for details on how the PFS is derived.

Note that totals for the Definite, Probable, and Possible categories are derived by pooling the variances of individual estimates, as described at As a result, totals do not necessarily match the simple sum of the entries within a given category.