Thefirst comprehensive review of Africa’s elephant population in 9 years estimates that there are about 100,000 fewer elephants on the continent than there were in 2007. The new 2016 IUCN African Elephants Status Report compiles aerial counts and dung surveys that suggest that 415,000 elephants survive in the forests and savannahs, with the possibility of up to 135,000 more in areas that have yet to be systematically surveyed. With forest elephant populations severely depleted in earlier years the most severe declines were suffered in Tanzania and Mozambique.
The 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES CoP17) got off to a dramatic start, with elephants heading the agenda. Save the Elephants is there in force, thanks to Singer Rankin & World Women Work, pushing hard for an end to domestic ivory markets around the world and effective enforcement against traffickers. The dreaded Decision Making Mechanism, a pathway to ivory sales, has finally been defeated, but the biggest battles are still to come. In the meantime, an interim report from the front.
Although a popular icon when in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, Tim the Tusker is unpopular with locals when he steps outside and raids their crops. This month we put a GPS collar on the 47 year-old bull to help KWS and Big Life rangers follow his night-time excursions and keep both elephant and people safe.
The new Reteti elephant sanctuary is the first community owned and managed elephant orphanage in Africa. Set in the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy in Samburu County, Kenya, the new facility will focus on successfully reintroducing orphaned elephants into their home environment.
The Black Mambas are an all-female rapid response anti-poaching team based in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. Iain Douglas-Hamilton recently visited with the new Head of Environment at the UN and learnt how the team are also using beehive fences as part of their community programme.
The scorching Samburu sun did not stop more than 300 men, women and children from walking, singing and dancing for 17 kilometers as part of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, a worldwide series of such events designed to call attention to the plight of pachyderms.
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.
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.