Elephant Management - A Scientific Assessment for South Africa

January, 2005 to December, 2006

The appropriate management of South Africa's elephant populations is the focus of a national debate. In terms of the Biodiversity Act of 2005 and the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, the ultimate responsibility for establishing national policy in this regard is the Minister of Environment Affairs and Tourism. The Minister convened a Scientific Roundtable (SRT) in January 2006 to advise him on policies regarding elephant management. The SRT concluded that in key aspects, the available scientific information was insufficient for a fully-informed decision (Statements from SRT 1 and 2, summarised in Owen-Smith et al. 2006).