WWF African Elephant Programme

Building on 50 years of experience, WWF is addressing all threats to African elephant populations: illegal hunting for meat and ivory, habitat loss, and human-elephant conflict.


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Launched in 2000, the WWF African Elephant Programme provides strategic field interventions to help guarantee a future for this magnificent species across Africa.

Working through WWF's field programmes in Central, Eastern, Southern and West Africa and with numerous partners, the programme supports projects that:
  • improve elephant protection and management
  • build capacity within range states
  • mitigate human-elephant conflict
  • reduce illegal trade.
Radio and satellite telemetry have been an integral part of many research and management projects of African elephants. WWF CFP staff put hands together to fasten satellite collar around neck of tranquilised elephant.

Key target

To conserve viable populations of forest and savanna elephants in at least 10 range states.

1. Protection and management

To reduce the illegal killing of elephants through improved protection and management, WWF will support activities such as:
  • equipping and training law enforcement teams so they can conduct regular and effective anti-poaching patrols
  • establishing new protected areas within elephant ranges and improving management effectiveness within existing protected areas
  • developing new community-based wildlife management schemes that contribute to elephant conservation whilst providing benefits to local people
  • determining the population status of elephants in sites across Africa.
2. Capacity building

To increase capacity within range states to conserve and manage elephants, WWF will support activities such as:

  • helping range state governments produce and adopt sub-regional elephant conservation strategies and national elephant conservation strategies
  • developing capacity to survey, census and monitor elephant populations and to implement the CITES system for Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)
  • providing training in elephant conservation and management technique
  • updating and enforcing range states’ legislation to protect elephants.
3. Conflict mitigation

To increase public support for elephant conservation by reducing conflict, WWF will support activities such as:

  • training wildlife managers and local communities to use modern methods and tools to mitigate human-elephant conflict
  • analysing human-elephant conflict projects to draw lessons and refine methodologies.
4. Trade controls

To reduce the illegal trade in elephant products, WWF will support activities such as:

  • monitoring and assessing trends in the illegal trade in elephant products (such as implementing the CITES Elephant Trade Information System)
  • conducting surveys to provide information on domestic ivory markets.
 / ©: WWF / Martin HARVEY
African elephant Loxodonta africana
© WWF / Martin HARVEY

How you can help  

  • Donate to WWF to help support our African Elephant Programme. 
    See how your donation helps...
  • Spread the word! Click on the button to share this information with others via email or your favourite social networking service.

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 / ©: Martin Harvey / WWF
African elephant (Loxodonta africana) bull with large tusks, Amboseli National Park, Kenya.
© Martin Harvey / WWF


  •  The WWF Wildlife Crime Scorecard report selects 23 range, transit and consumer countries from Asia and Africa facing the highest levels of illegal trade in elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts.

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