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Some of our elephant conservation highlights – all achieved in collaboration with many partners – include:

Reducing human-elephant conflict

  • Keeping elephants away from fields and property: We've helped over 35 villages in four countries (Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia) implement practical measures to protect their crops and property from elephants. These include deterring elephants by spreading chilli or tobacco near crops, using beehives as fences, using tame elephants to drive their wild counterparts from fields, and using vuvuzelas. We’ve also created alternative water points for wildlife to stop them using human supplies.
  • Bringing benefits to communities: In Namibia, for example, we’ve successfully set up community-based wildlife tourism companies, so local people can benefit from living alongside elephants and other wildlife. This helps people view wildlife not as a threat but as an asset.

Improving conservation management

  • Building capacity: e.g., providing training to park guards and other professionals on elephant conservation and management, as well as villagers and communities, in 17 range states; developing capacity to census elephants in 4 Central African range states; sharing lessons and building partnerships between wildlife managers across borders through technical exchange visits involving 10 range states.
  • Establishing park management systems: e.g., in Quirimbas National Park, Mozambique.

Strengthening activities against poachers and the illegal ivory trade

  • Improving monitoring of illegal activities: We helped put the Elephant Trade Information System into action in Tanzania, and established Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) methodologies in several protected area sites.
  • Monitoring markets and trade routes: We were involved in an assessment of ivory markets in West Africa and the identification of illegal ivory trade routes from Central to West Africa.
  • Building capacity: e.g., we helped train 55 anti-poaching staff from 5 protected areas in modern field methods, and held a workshop in Ethiopia (bringing together over 40 key people from the wildlife management department, police, customs, Ministry of Trade and Industry and conservation NGOs) to chart a way forward on how to control illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn in the domestic market.
Making elephant dung-and-chilli bombs to deter raiding elephants, Mozambique.

© Lyn Treloar / WWF