Study: If not for poaching, African PAs could support almost 750,000 more elephants

As I pushed through thick, towering reeds in the Bangweulu Swamps of northern Zambia, my heart pounded in anticipation of what creature I might find in the clearing beyond. But it was empty. Only a single set of huge, round impressions trailed through the soft mud—the tracks of an elephant that had passed through perhaps a week prior.

I never found their owner. No surprise really. Bangweulu’s few remaining elephants roam the Connecticut-size, 15,000-km2 ecosystem like ghosts. I’d been searching for elephants in one of the most elephant-impoverished parks in Africa.

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