About MIKE Data
MIKE data are collected by law enforcement patrols and other means at designated MIKE sites. When an elephant carcass is found, site personnel try to establish the cause of death and other details, such as sex and age of the animal, status of ivory and stage of decomposition of the carcass. This information is recorded in standardized forms, details of which are then submitted to the MIKE Programme.
MIKE evaluates relative poaching levels based on the Proportion of Illegally Killed Elephants (PIKE), which is calculated as the number of illegally killed elephants found divided by the total number of el ephant carcasses encountered by patrols or other means, aggregated by year for each site. PIKE can be scaled up to the subregional and continental levels. Coupled with estimates of population size and natural mortality rates, PIKE can be used to estimate numbers of elephants killed and absolute poaching rates. Please note that MIKE sites were selected to be representative at the subregional and continental levels, and not necessarily at the national level. In many cases, especially where the number of reported carcasses is small, PIKE may not even be representative at the site level.
While PIKE provides a sensitive measure of poaching trends, it may be affected by a number of potential biases related to data quality, carcass detection probabilities, variation in natural mortality rates and other factors, and hence results need to be interpreted with caution. However, the fact that the quantitative MIKE results are in good agreement with quantitative and qualitative information from other sources, gives confidence as to the robustness of the results.
Access to MIKE data sets
Access to MIKE data is governed by the provisions of CITES Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP17), which states:
g) summaries and aggregates of data provided to MIKE and ETIS, and the analyses of such data, constitute information that will be considered to be in the public domain once they are published on the CITES website, or otherwise publicly distributed; the detailed data on individual seizure cases, elephant mortalities and law enforcement submitted to MIKE or ETIS are owned by the respective data providers, which in most case are the CITES Parties; any such data relating to a CITES Party will be accessible to that Party for information and review purposes, but will not be released to any third party without the consent of the Party concerned; data may also be released to contractors (e.g. statisticians) or other researchers (e.g. MIKE ETIS Subgroup - approved research collaborations) under appropriate non-disclosure agreements; and
h) data on elephant populations will be maintained in databases established by the IUCN/SSC African and Asian Elephant Specialist Groups, to which MIKE will have direct access; access by, and release to third parties will be subject to the relevant data access and release policies of IUCN;
As stipulated by Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP17) summaries and aggregates of data provided to MIKE are provided in the links below.
- Numbers of carcasses found for each reporting site and year can be found here.
- Continental PIKE trend data for Africa can be found here.
- Subregional PIKE trend data for Africa can be found here.
- A list and map of MIKE sites can be found here.
Any third parties wishing to obtain more detailed elephant carcass data should get in touch with the CITES management authority of the elephant range State(s) concerned.
Reports of MIKE analyses
As stipulated in Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP17), reports of analyses conducted using MIKE data are provided in the links below.