Dr Elsa Bussière

Website: www.elsa-bussiere.com

Elsa holds an MSc (2013) and PhD (2018) from UCT obtained within the former ADU. Elsa serves as the Regional Conservation Manager at the non-governmental organisation African Parks, responsible for the Central African region within the APN portfolio. Her role involves providing support to key conservation areas, including the Chinko Conservation Area in Central Africa, the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in Congo, the Ennedi Natural and Cultural Reserve in Chad, and the Greater Zakouma Ecosystem in Chad. Elsa's central mission is to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and conservation management, striving for well-informed decisions in our parks. Part of Elsa's focus is on partnerships and research initiatives with research institutions which is where her current connections with the Fitz lie.

Elsa initiated a collaboration with the FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology to conduct bird surveys in Ennedi and ostrich breeding biology and monitoring surveys in Zakouma as part of a multi-year reintroduction project. This partnership enables APN to tap into the expertise of ornithologists and scientists for designing robust scientific methodologies, streamlining data collection, enhancing local capacities, and publishing peer-reviewed scientific papers.

As a Research Associate, Elsa is  a formal link/representative between African Parks and the Fitz. This link offers greater opportunity to conduct research in a region of Africa known for its challenging access due to security and logistical constraints. Elsa has been active in wanting to engage and to facilitate student involvement where possible, and having the Fitz/UCT as an institution to host theses of African Parks employees. To date, the Ennedi monitoring project has hosted a UCT undergraduate student, a former Fitz CB student and a Fitz post-doc. Elsa is actively seeking partnerships for various projects and to co-supervise students with the Fitz.



Bacuez, F., Bussière, E., Akpona, J.D. & Sougui, M. (2023). Mammifères sauvages et domestiques de l'Ennedi. African Parks Network.

Bussière, E. & Sougui, M. (2023). 30 plantes de l'Ennedi. African Parks Network.

Technical Reports:

Bussière, E. & Potgieter, D (2023). KAZA Elephant Survey 2022. Volume I: Results and technical report. KAZA Secretariat.

Bussière, E. & Potgieter, D (2023). KAZA Elephant Survey 2022. Volume II: Stratum reports. KAZA Secretariat.

Peer-reviewed papers:
Delplanque, A., Foucher, S., Théau, J., Bussière, E., Vermeulen, C., & Lejeune, P. (2023). From crowd to herd counting: How to precisely detect and count African mammals using aerial imagery and deep learning? ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 197, 167–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isprsjprs.2023.01.025

Cassinello, J., Bounaceur, F., Brito, J. C., Bussière, E., Cuzin, F., Gil-Sánchez, J., Herrera-Sánchez, F., & Wacher, T. (2021). Ammotragus lervia. The IUCN red list of threatened species 2021: e.T1151A22149987

Moreras, A., Tolvanen, J., Morosinotto, C., Bussiere, E., Forsman, J, Thomson, R.L. (2021). Choice of nest attributes as a frontline defense against brood parasitism. Behavioral Ecology, 32(6), November/December 2021, Pages 1285-1295. https://doi.org/10.1093/beheco/arab095

Yarnell, R.W., Richmond-Coggan, L., Bussière, E., Williams, K., Bissett, C., Welch, R. & Wiesel, I. (2017). Parahyaena brunnea Brown hyaena. The Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho.

Bussière, E., Underhill, L. & Altwegg, R. (2015). Patterns of bird migration phenology in South Africa suggest northern hemisphere climate as the most consistent driver of change. Global Change Biology, 21(6):2179-90, doi: 10.1111/gcb.12857.

Popular articles:

Bussière, E. (2022). Dancers in the desert. The return of ostriches to the Sahara. African BirdLife. 25-32.
Bussière, E. (2022). Le retour des autruches au Sahara. L’Oiseau Mag. N°147: 52 57, Été 2022.
Bussière, E. (2021). Green and gold. Birds of the oases and desert in Chad. African BirdLife.
Bussière, E. (2021). Les Ailes du Sahara-Sahel. L’Oiseau Mag, n°142.
Bussière, E. (2019). Et ainsi fut nommé Lycaon pictus, ESPECES, n°32.
Bussière, E. (2017). Vultures. Ambassadeur, n°2.
Bussière, E. (2017). Le ciel africain se vide de ses vautours. L’Oiseau Mag, n°127.
Bussière, E. (2016). Cecil, un an après... Chasser pour protéger : la pénible réalité de la chasse aux trophées. Nat’Images n°39.
Bussière, E. (2016). Call on citizen scientists to map weaver nests. SanParks Times.
Bussière, E. (2016). Zimbabwe, not just Victoria Falls. Africa Geographic, Issue 104.
Bussière, E. (2015). Une sorte de loup ? Un loup garou ? Le lycaon. La Gazette des Grands Prédateurs, n°57.
Bussière, E. (2014). Mauvaises nouvelles pour le messager sagittaire. L’Oiseau Mag, n°116.
Bussière, E. (2012). Les manchots du Cap luttent pour leur survie. L’Oiseau Mag, n°106.