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Below is the official release from Gorongosa National Park on the game count that was conducted at the end of 2010.  The results are hugely exciting for us at Explore Gorongosa as it shows the great strides taken by the Gorongosa Restoration Project and the wildlife of Gorongosa to rebound from the horrors of a little over 15 years ago...

Gorongosa National Park Wildlife Census

May 3, 2011 - Gorongosa National Park

Gorongosa National Park specialists conducted an aerial wildlife census in November 2010. This was the second of this type of survey since the beginning of the Gorongosa Restoration Project.

Some of the members that participated in the aerial survey

The aerial surveys to estimate total numbers of large mammals and wildlife distributions are run every third year. This information is complemented by annual ground surveys conducted by GNP staff and local university students in the 120 km open road network of Gorongosa National Park.

The 30 hour-aerial survey covered the core park area and for the first time Gorongosa Mountain, the new addition to the park. The results demonstrate the steep recovery of ungulate species throughout the core park (see table below). 

* in entire core park
** translocated into sanctuary
*** releases from sanctuary excluded
**** Hippopotamus, Zebra, Lions and Eland not included

The rate of increase has been in average 13.3% a year (39.8% in 3 years) . The increase in numbers from originally trans-located Blue Wildebeest and African Buffalo, kept for adaptation and breeding inside the protected area of the park’s wildlife sanctuary, is highly encouraging. Of concern to the conservation management are the lack of recovery of the large cats and scavengers.

Example of a herd of sable antelope surveyed

Some hope for the auto-recovery of zebra and eland appears from this recent aerial count. The wildlife distribution also reveals the serious impact of poaching in some parts of the park.

Unfortunately only domestic mammals were found on Gorongosa Mountain. The aerial survey on Gorongosa Mountain was used to obtain a census of houses and forest clearings inside the newly declared protected area.

Example of Afromontane forest clearing in Mount Gorongosa

Attention is required to the slower recovery of hippopotami in the context of the siltation of Lake Urema as well as the restricted home range of the African Elephant caused by the presence of villages inside the park.
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