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Media Release: SANParks calls for participation in Emerging Tuskers Project
Date: 18th March 2014
South African National Parks (SANParks) calls on the public to participate in the Emerging Tuskers Project based in the Letaba Elephant Museum in the Kruger National Park (KNP).
According to Kirsty Redman, Kruger National Parks Interpretive Officer, there has been confusion out there where private individuals have in some cases incorrectly identified and given names to elephants not officially deemed as Tuskers in the KNP. “This has often weakened the value of the existing database of information on Tuskers.”
She says it is critical that care is taken in the correct identification and naming of existing and emerging Tuskers as this will add value to SANParks' research projects on Tuskers and related studies. “Having said that, it is key to note that SANParks is the only official authority in the naming and identification of Tuskers from the KNP.”
According to Redman the KNP is one of the few areas in Southern Africa where large Tuskers can still be found. The Tuskers of Kruger have been an attraction for visitors since the launch of the Magnificent 7 promotion in 1980.
Redman says it is against this background that SANParks calls members of the public to assist in contributing to the existing database and in the identification of the emerging Tuskers in the park by submitting images to the organisation through the Tuskers project and not any other entity.
She says there is a multipronged purpose for the Tusker Project and this varies from identifying and cataloguing the current large and emerging Tuskers of the KNP through photographic material, to gaining an idea of these animals' home ranges and distribution through sightings, as well as maintaining the information collected through the display at the museum in Letaba and on the SANParks website.
All the information relating to the emerging Tuskers project including photo and information pages on the Magnificent 7, Past Tuskers, Tuskers presumed deceased (named bulls that have not been seen for more than 10 years but for whom no carcass has been found); Female Tuskers and Current Emerging Tuskers can be found on the SANParks website with the link: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/kruger/elephants/default.php
The website is updated regularly and is accurate to date for the Emerging Tuskers named and recognised by SANParks.
Those wanting to add their sightings to the database can submit images to email@example.com. Alternatively, those wanting identification or confirmation that their sighting qualifies as a Tusker can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
South African National Parks (SANParks) Corporate Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170
Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli
SANParks Acting Head of Communication
Tel: 012 426 5203; Cell: 073 373 4999
Gabrielle “Gabby” Venter
SANParks Manager: Media and Stakeholder Relations
Tel: 012 426 5065; Cell: 083 825 9435