SAWMA Matters


The legal challenges of transboundary wildlife management at the population level: The case of a trilateral elephant population in southern Africa.


Selier, S.A.J.; Slotow, R.; Blackmore, A.; Trouwborst, A.

Journal Name:

Journal of International Wildlife law and policy 19(2)




What do geese (Anser spp., Branta spp.) and wolves (Canis lupus) in Europe have in common with elephants (Loxodonta africana) in southern Africa? In fact, quite a lot. All three enjoy protected status under multiple international legal instruments. At the same time, all three have a high potential for so-called human–wildlife conflict and are subject to smaller or larger degrees of lethal control. These traits, in turn, are linked to the fact that the life histories of geese, wolves, and elephants require populations of these animals to range beyond designated protected areas (PAs) into the wider landscape. Last but not least, many populations of geese, wolves, and elephants—and many other species besides—are transboundary, overlapping the territories of several countries. These traits, however, can lead to a potential mismanagement of transboundary populations because of a mismatch between the scales at which these animal populations operate and the scale at which administrations operate.

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