Home range and seasonal movement of elephants in the Kunene Region, northwestern Namibia
This paper examines the home ranges and seasonal movements of eight GPS-collared elephants (two females and six males) in the northwestern Kunene region of Namibia. Minimum convex polygon (MCP) and the fixed kernel density estimation (FKDE) methods were used to analyse home ranges. The collared elephants showed defined home and seasonal ranges. In the eastern section of the research area, the elephants generally had smaller home ranges that were at their least during the hot and cold dry seasons, expanding during the wet season. In the western areas, the elephants moved between the Hoanib and Hoarusib Rivers in response to available vegetation that did not necessarily correspond to rainfall. The length of movement of collared elephants varied from 54.5 to 473 km in the eastern section of the research area to between 251 to 625 km in the west, over periods of up to five months.
Keywords: desert-dwelling elephants, home range, seasonal movements, GPS radio-satellite tracking