I’ve been involved with Save the Elephants (STE) ever since my father founded the organisation in 1993, and I’m enormously proud of all that we do. In short, STE works to secure a future for elephants in a rapidly changing world. To battle the current surge in ivory poaching, we established the Elephant Crisis Fund with our partners the Wildlife Conservation Network to identify and support the most effective global partners to stop the illegal killing of elephants, thwart traffickers, and end demand for ivory worldwide.
A leader in elephant science, STE also provides cutting-edge scientific insights into elephant behaviour, intelligence, and long-distance movement and applies them to the long-term challenges of elephant conservation. Elephants are highly intelligent sentient creatures with a form of consciousness that is parallel to our own. They are self-aware and have a strong sense of their own mortality. The similarities between our species are striking.
Currently, the illegal ivory trade is the greatest threat to elephants, but hard on its heels comes loss of habitat and human encroachment. Elephants are in crisis across Africa. While we are having some success with anti-poaching efforts in Kenya, it’s a far cry from what’s happening across the rest of the continent. Save the Elephants data shows that 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa between 2010 and 2012, and sadly the rate of killing has continued unabated ever since then. We need urgent action internationally if we are to prevent the loss of elephants in the wild in our lifetime. Most importantly, we need China – which is currently the biggest market – to ban it’s domestic ivory trade.
Through detailed long term monitoring of a known population of over 1000 elephants, and 18 years of research on long-distance movement, STE’s data is crucial for landscape planning as Africa modernizes to ensure the long-term sustainability of intact ecosystems and abundant wildife.