If anyone ever needs proof that the scientists of Kruger National Park have turned this sanctuary into an “Elephant Park” – and that the elephant is being managed preferentially to the detriment of the national park’s biological diversity – this is it.
The Kruger scientists are hypersensitive to all criticism and they don’t seem to realise that those of us who object to their elephant management POLICIES, are NOT saying that what they say about elephants is WRONG.
I am sure that they can produce scientific line-and-verse “proof” in support of their findings.
But THAT is not the point. What we are saying is that their management OBJECTIVE is wrong; and because of that their elephant management plan is not “in line” with the national parks original wildlife management objective – which was mandated by parliament a long time ago. And that management objective was to maintain the national park’s biological diversity.
And I agree whole-heartedly with this parliament-decreed objective. I grew up with the understanding that ALL Africa’s national parks were primarily set aside for the purpose of maintaining each sanctuary’s biological diversity; and that every other management consideration was subjugate to this primary goal.
Management policies should differ only in those parks which were set aside for the specific protection of a certain species – like Bontebok; Mountain Zebra; and/or Yellow Wood trees.
The fact that the elephants of Kruger have reduced the park’s top canopy trees by more than 95 percent – and that nobody seems to be at all perturbed about this state of affairs – therefore, is an indictment on the national park’s administration and its scientific management authority.
This is a short dissertation on Kruger’s elephant management policy delivered to the SAWMA Conference 2017 by Dr Sam Ferreira.