The Great Elephant Census results have been released, with sobering results. The largest ever survey of African wildlife, funded by Paul G Allen, has shed light on the continent-wide crisis. The survey reports that the savanna populations declined 30% between 2007 and 2014. The greatest falls were in Tanzania and Mozambique, which together lost an estimated 73,000 elephants to poaching in just five years. The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF) is dedicated to putting an end to this crisis, supporting projects across Africa and in ivory consuming countries. To date we have supported over 100 project grants and 39 grantees, as shown in our 2016 mid-year report.
New research by STE and the Wildlife Conservation Society has revealed that forest elephants reproduce slower than almost any other mammal, becoming mature later and taking longer between births than their savannah cousins. Earlier research estimated that their numbers dropped by 62% between 2002 and 2011 and their known geographical range shrank by a third. Together these studies give new urgency to ending the ivory trade. Meanwhile new research by Disney’s Animal Kingdom with STE on the use of accelerometers in tracking collars gives new prospects of monitoring animal behavior remotely.
The Guardian newspaper is doing a year of reporting on elephants, thanks to support from our partners Vulcan. To set up the series they sent an interepid reporter who’d never met an elephant before to come to Samburu to discover first-hand why these magnificent animals matter, and what threatens their future.
Researcher Shifra Goldenberg witnessed a moving scene as an elephant family stood vigil around a carcass in Samburu. In this moving video on National Geographic, Shifra discusses the mystery of elephants and their reaction to the bodies of those that have fallen. This fascinating behaviour is an area that STE have published on before.
The tiny solution to a giant problem keeps on spreading! This innovative method to deter crop-raiding elephants is now making waves in Central Africa. The beehive fence, pioneered by Dr Lucy King, is being put to the test in Gabon with heart-warmingly positive outcomes. Elephants and Bees also featured on CNN recently.
STE’s outreach team was at the 27th annual Maralal Camel Derby, Kenya’s best known and most prestigious camel race. The great gathering of local nomads is an opportunity to spread the word about the value of elephants. This year we went all-out, dispatching our media intern Nicole to bag a bronze in the race!
Our Mission: To secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species.