Study Site - Habitat
The study site is 4,000km² and one-third of Tsavo East National Park. The northern boundary is the Galana River. The north-western boundary contains an open-ended electrical fence, separating wildlife and humans. The Voi River flows from west to east, across the center of the study site. The majority of the southwestern boundary is not fenced off to the elephants. However the elephants that move between the National Park and private land must cross the railway tracks and the main Mombasa-Nairobi road (a dangerous route - some elephants are killed when trying to cross).
The environment within the study area is relatively flat terrain with a few hills to the northwest. The vegetation consists of
To the north of the study area, the Tsavo and Athi River converge to create the Galana River and is typically a permanent resource. The Voi and Mbololo Rivers, which are seasonal, are important dry season riverine areas, for food and shade and an important area where elephants dig for water in the dry river bed.
The natural pools in Ashaka, Punda Malia and Sobo within a short distance to the permanent Galana River provide water for the elephants and other wildlife during the dry season.