Article Title

Desert Dwellers

Publication Date



An aerial survey conducted by the Endangered Wildlife Trust during November 1981 in Kaokoland and Damaraland in South West Africa/Namibia revealed only 84 desert elephants (Loxodonta africana africana), 60 desert giraffes (Giraffa Camelopardalis) and 15 desert black rhinoceroses (Diceros bicornis). A five year drought has taken its toll but poachers and hunters have also contributed to the dwindling numbers. According to Philip J. Viljoen, studies over the past 18 months have established the definite existence of a subpopulation of elephants which are restricted to the desert regions of Kaokoland and Damaraland, with little or no genetic exchange with eastern populations. No east/west migration patterns could be distinguished. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis of a surviving race of tall elephants.

Recommended Citation

Walker, C. (1982). Desert Dwellers. Elephant, 2(1), 135-139. Doi: 10.22237/elephant/1521731906