Rewilding Day – March 20th

Rewilding Humanity

“May Man and Beast
succeed to coalesce harmoniously,
in the forests, the seas, and land,
with ner’er a compromise from Nature.”

There is a tragic urgency in the world today for the necessity to compromise. Compromises for wildlife. Compromises for nature. But, above all else, the ability to compromise humanity’s own platitudes for the sake of Mother Earth. David Attenborough said it best, “Nature once determined how we survive, now we determine how nature survives.” Only by compromising will we find an equilibrium that will provide a solution to prevent critical mass extinction of wildlife and our own species.

Rewilding is a concept that has gained larger recognition worldwide because of the irreparable damage caused by humans to wild spaces that were once occupied by species responsible for healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. Conservationists understand the frailty of our existence and the connection between nature and mankind as synergistic. Therefore, if the basis of rewilding be to govern all natural processes, then it must be said that the basis of rewilding humanity be at its core.

What is rewilding and why do we need it?

Rewilding is a progressive form of conservation that restores and rebalances ecological areas that have suffered from overuse and abuse from humans, allowing nature to repair itself through natural processes with as little human interference as possible. It helps ecosystems rebuild diversity, structure and resilience. It is imperative for all life on Earth to have healthy, regulated ecosystems to counter the extinction crisis, preserve biodiversity, and help mitigate human-made climate change.

Rewilding consists of 3 major success categories: Cores, Corridors and Carnivores.

Cores are wild spaces linked up by corridors that enable carnivores, or other keystone species, to be reintroduced to areas where they once roamed, and now have the opportunity to flourish and regenerate ecosystems that were once part of the landscape. Corridors are natural or man-made strips of land connecting cores and serving as an avenue for wild animals to move across to reach food, water and cover. Increasing habitat fragmentation has put these essential movements at risk.

Large predators play a key role in regulating ecosystems. By connecting core areas through natural corridors, big predators can reach wild land networks.

Generally speaking, populations of wild animals are naturally regulated. There are two forms of food regulation. One form of is bottom-up control – meaning the flow of energy and nutrients from the soil through to the plants to the herbivores and on up to the predators. Another form is top-down control where predators control herbivores or other smaller predators (predation), which indirectly affects plants and even soils, referred to as a trophic cascade. Elephants are plant predators – a top-down control (food regulation) of plants and trees in the ecosystems in which they live. In the savannah elephants affect tree populations by eating small seedlings thus preventing trees from returning keeping the vegetation open. One of the most frequent causes of ecosystem collapse is the loss of top predators. Human hunting, urban development and agriculture has prevented regulation of herbivores by top predators by displacing or killing them causing a chain reaction in the food chain.

In any ecosystem, the loss of a keystone species results in a loss of biodiversity at other levels in the food chain. Elephants have decreased by nearly two-thirds largely because of human activities in the past 40 years and because elephants are a keystone species, this has greatly affected the ecosystems in which they live and all the other animals that depend upon them for survival. A principal driver for the decline and extinction of a species is the loss of their habitat. An important pillar of rewilding is the reintroduction of keystone species to areas that have been degraded in order to rebuild stability and diversity.

Rewilding is a complex and intricate process of re-establishing ecosystems to the original form had human disturbances not occurred. Long-term monitoring is essential in tracking rewilding programs. By having a long-term goal it allows scientists to track a systems progress and intervene if it deviates because of external threats such as poaching.

So, how does all this pertain to humanity and its role in the extinction crisis and what constructive tactics could we practice in order to assist the rewilding concept?

It is a disheartening fact to know that 96% of the mass of mammals on the planet today are humans and the livestock we have domesticated. Only 4 % is everything else, meaning wildlife is at the bottom of the barrel. 70% of all birds are domesticated poultry, mainly chickens. The speed at which species are disappearing is at least 100 times higher than the natural rate of extinction. At the current rate it will take millions of years for diversity to be restored to pre-industrial levels. How do we halt this tsunami?

If we were to say that humanity’s success is governed, largely, by 3 major success categories to include competence, commitment, and collaboration, we could discern and conflate the principles of rewidling with our own principles of humanity. We could also broaden the categories to include; compassion, conscience, culture, community, and co-existence.

From the beginning of time, mankind has been ingenious and competent enough to protect itself from extinction. But, we have reached a global population growth of 8+ billion people that are pillaging the earth’s resources at mammoth speed. A commitment to evaluate our consumption practices and place nature at the top of our list of collaborators is imperative for all survival on earth and a true test for humanity. Are we competent enough to succeed? Our sub categories of success, to include compassion and conscience, will need to place an emphasis on rewilding humanity as its primary goal in order for rewilding nature to be successful. Cultural norms will need to be reevaluated, and educational programs in communities and schools will need to be organized to teach the importance of co-existence with nature as our primary connection and means to survival. It is encouraging to know that some conservation organizations are focusing on the importance of rewilding and making it their primary objective.

We are bound, intrinsically, to nature. From the elephant that tramples copious amounts of seeds in the forest that, in turn, nourishes life in ecosystems, to the stars we gaze at with wonderment, in the night sky, that are part of our DNA. Compromises are urgent proponents to change that humans are irrevocably responsible for in order for rewilding to succeed and humanity to continue to exist.

The truth is, nature does not compromise. We must.


Below are some suggestions on how to ‘Rewild Humanity’ and top reasons why we should:

  • Animal agriculture is responsible for 91% of Amazon destruction. If we all ate less meat, there would be more space for wildlife to flourish. Fewer crops would be needed to feed livestock. infographic: https://www.cowspiracy.com/infographic

Top reasons why we need to rewild:

  • To stop mass extinction
  • To bolster biodiversity and stabilize climate on which we all depend
  • To prevent natural disasters
  • To increase economies of scale for communities
  • To help people by securing high levels of biodiversity


Fran Duthie,
President / Elephanatics


*All rewilding statistics listed above accredited to “A Place Like No Other”
author, Anthony R.E. Sinclair, with Rene Beyers, director, Elephanatics

Grade 3’s Shout It Out For Elephants!

San Diego – March, 2023
A BIG Thank You to Ms. Cynthia’s Grade 3 class for being such eager learners and lovers of elephants! Determined to make a difference for elephants they held a fundraiser for Elephanatics to stop them from becoming extinct from poaching and human elephant conflict.
We are so very grateful for their enthusiasm and for the opportunity to deliver a presentation to their classroom. 🐘
Can’t wait to go back! Watch video here –  IMG_8451

Classroom Presentations at Art and Play Foundation!

Our student ambassador, Muskan, gave two informative and insightful presentations to the children attending the Art Therapy Program at Kids Play Foundation in Surrey last Saturday.  The kids learned about the many faceted roles the elephant plays in keeping ecosystems in which they live healthy and their role as a keystone species. Lots of giveaways and fun was had by all.

Thank you, Muskan, for your great work. The elephants trumpet!!


Elephants and Biodiversity – How are they connected? NEW Lesson Plan!

The decline of elephant populations due to the illegal wildlife trade and poaching is now almost the stuff of legendary horror. While elephants roamed the forests and savannas of Africa in the millions in the past, the 20th century has seen an accelerated assault on their lives with populations declining from 10 million in the early 1900s to approximately 450,000 today.

While poaching threats continue unabated, climate change, biodiversity loss, and human wildlife conflict are equally as threatening to the long-term survival of Africa’s elephant populations.

Elephants are at the crossroads of multiple human system failures. In Kenya, 200 elephants died recently due to the drought bringing elephants in closer conflict with humans competing for limited resources.  As a keystone species the loss or potential extinction of elephants will have devastating consequences for ecosystems dependent on them for their survival, driving a circle of degradation for all species, including humans.

How do we emerge from this human created mess? Elephanatics is committed to providing resources and education for people of all ages, with the intention of helping people understand that elephants, like the rest of the natural world, are an integral part of a broader ecology that help form the fabric of ecosystems essential to our collective survival. In Elephanatics’ latest lesson plan “Biodiversity and the Important Role of the African Elephant,” students from grades four to twelve will learn how to:

  • Correctly use appropriate science vocabulary to include – biodiversity, keystone species, natural community, interrelationships, and characteristics.
  • Describe interrelationships between the African elephant and their environment. Using pictures and words, explain why the African elephant is a keystone species.
  • Identify human-caused species loss as one of the major current threats to biodiversity.
  • Explain how the disappearance of the African elephant affects other species.

Link to lesson plan here.

View all our lesson plans here.   All plans can be modified to suit grade appropriateness.

With a commitment to supporting education for future generations on the importance of protecting wildlife and biodiversity, we hope to ensure the long-term survival of Africa’s remaining population of extraordinary wild elephants.

African Elephant Conservation Scholarship Update

Elephanatics is proud to support Kenyan students pursuing an education in conservation through the Fran Duthie African Elephant Conservation Scholarship distributed by Mara Elephant Project in Kenya.  February 11th is International Day of Women and Girls in Science and we are very excited to support Janeth Jepkemboi as the first recipient of the scholarship. 
Janeth is pursuing her master’s in environmental science. She just completed her first semester, which encouraged her passion for conservation even more. 

Please consider a donation today (“note in the comments “scholarship”) to support Janeth and other Kenyans preparing for a career in conservation, buff.ly/3WNTgH8.

Keep up the great work, Janeth!


Donation to Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand!

It is with great pleasure that we are able to donate to Wildlife Friends Foundation in Thailand to help them continue their outstanding work and care of elephants and other wildlife at their sanctuary.

The major goals of their organization are:

  • To rescue and rehabilitate captive wild animals and provide high-quality care and a safe environment for them to live for the rest of their lives, in a setting as close to nature as possible.
  • To campaign against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation in Thailand, work towards ending the illegal pet trade and discourage people from keeping all wild animals as pets. WFFT actively seeks to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to rescue animals from poor conditions or exploitation from human entertainment.
  • To provide veterinary assistance to any sick or injured animal; wild or domestic.
  • To educate and encourage local people (especially children), tourists and the international community to appreciate, understand and protect wildlife and their natural habitats. One of the most significant aspects of wildlife conservation is the education of local communities and raising awareness among tourists, who often inadvertently create a big demand for the exploitation of wildlife. WFFT wishes to make people understand the consequences of their actions and aims to persuade them to change their habits and attitudes towards life. If the buying stops the killing will too.  Tours are given to tourists at the rescue centre with the aim of raising awareness for the plight of the animals in promoting responsible eco-tourism
  • To assist in and develop new projects relating to protection, rehabilitation, humane captive environments, and welfare of all wild animals.
  • To rehabilitate captive wild animals and release them back into the wild, repopulating forest areas in which they are already endangered or extinct.

Thank you for your commitment and care of wildlife.

Elephanatics funds donated to the elephant Refuge – https://www.wfft.org/projects/elephant-refuge/

Please visit their website at: https://www.wfft.org/ for more information.



Chapter 26 from Routledge Handbook of Rewilding

Chapter 26|10 pages –  Routledge Handbook of Rewilding – publication Nov/22

* Rewilding, the wildlife trade and human conflict

By Rene Beyers, Sally Hawkins

This chapter examines the relationships between conflict, wildlife trade, and rewilding. Trade in wildlife, both legal and illegal, has increased exponentially in the last few decades, which has led, at least in part, to the decimation of numerous wildlife species, including keystone species that have an important role in the functioning of ecosystems. This affects trophic cascades, leading to the degradation of ecosystems and decreased ecosystem services. Conflict and civil strife have also been increasing globally. In most cases conflict results in a decline of species mainly through increased trade in wildlife for food and revenue, habitat degradation, and a breakdown in law and order. If rewilding is to be effective in restoring trophic cascades and ecosystem functioning, addressing the social and ecological impacts of conflict and wildlife trade should be seen as an integral part of rewilding. Interventions may include controlling trade and hunting, involving local communities, promoting sustainable wildlife use and curbing illegal wildlife trade.

To purchase book please go to: https://bit.ly/3WsxB64


Elephanatics 2022

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season!

Elephanatics Impact and Activities | 2022

Over 2022 Elephanatics’ continued to advocate on behalf of African elephants to fundraise, build partnerships, and educate Canadians about the ongoing and multiple threats that affect both African communities and elephants.

We share some of this year’s highlights below and in the video above.


The first ever Fran Duthie Elephant Conservation scholarship was awarded to Janeth Jepkemboi, a Conservation masters student, now attending Karatina University, Kenya.

The scholarship provides financial support to Kenyan nationals acquiring a technical certificate, undergraduate or postgraduate (Masters or PhD) degree in an area related to conservation and the protection of wildlife. Read more here.

Elephanatics offers free lesson plans and resources for elementary and intermediate students including reference articles, books and apps and educational videos.


New 2022 Lesson Plan for Grades 6 to 12, “Elephanatics newest lesson plan Rewilding” aims to restore healthy ecosystems by creating wild, biodiverse spaces that are self-sustaining without human interference. Download Rewilding lesson plan here

Access all education resources here.

New lesson plans will be announced early January 2023.


  • Rene Beyers virtual school presentation “Ivory is For Elephants. See video here.
  • San Diego – elementary school teacher taught 6 month project that focused on extinction of wildlife with an emphasis on elephants for Elephanatics
  • Student conservation ambassador’s delivered presentations.
  • Local classroom presentations done by directors in Elephanatics


Elephanatics partnered with not-for-profit SEEDBALLS Kenya whose mission is to re-green habitats in Kenya. SEEDBALLS Kenya is an African based organization that has pioneered a method of mass-producing seedballs for low cost and efficient reintroduction of trees and grass species into degraded areas in Africa. Their methodology will help rebuild ecosystems that have been degraded by human interference. We are happy to promote the outstanding work SEEDBALLS Kenya does in assisting with restoring and reforesting areas of Africa hardest hit by habitat destruction.


  • On World Elephant Day, Elephanatics fundraised for SEEDBALLS Kenya and raised enough money to cover the cost of 5 x 25kg bags of seedballs to assist Mara Elephant Project and their surrounding areas.
  • On Giving Tuesday we fundraised to support the Fran Duthie Conservation Scholarship, held with Mara Elephant Project, and were pleased to receive additional funds to support future students.
  • We sold items through Elephanatics merchandise line, Spring, on specific holiday events during the year to help support our cause. We thank you for your purchases!


  • In advance of CoP19 Elephanatics, in partnership with Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, outlined the need for the greatest protection for all elephants. Read letter and outcome of Conference of Parties here.
  • In advance of CoP19 Elephanatics sent letters of concern to all MP’s, PM Trudeau and Minister Stephen Gilbeault regarding global elephant protection at CoP19. Read letter here.
  • We continue to work with Humane Society International and our Ivory-Free Canada partners to enact the mandate to end the elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn trade by the Canadian government. Read more here.
  • Elephanatics and its global partners continue to support action to end Recon Africa’s drilling in the ecologically sensitive Okavango Delta.
  • Elephanatics continues to support the work of Mara Elephant Project.
  • Elephanatics has donated to Mara Elephant Project this year to support their female Ranger Week, MEP Experimental Farm, and Loita Forest Ranger teams.


“Elephanatics African Elephant Specialist Director, Dr. Rene Beyers, co-edited and published the “Routledge Handbook of Rewilding” this year. It is a comprehensive overview of the history, theory, and current practices of rewilding. This followed last year’s publication of “A Place Like No Other,” Discovering the Secrets of Serengeti, which he co-wrote with Prof. Antony Sinclair from UBC. Congratulations, Rene!


Without our small but mighty group of volunteers we couldn’t do the work we do.

With special thanks and kudos to: Carol Ann and Brian Kunimoto, Chelsey Bogaczewicz, Melissa Torres, Jade Crawford, Melanie Reding, and Jett Britnell.

We thank ALL our wonderful donors, volunteers, and directors for their enormous support during the year. We wish you all a very happy, healthy, harmonious, holiday season.

Until next year, keep enjoying elephants with us!

Elephanatics Team


90 Civil Society Groups Call on China to Protect Biodiversity in its Overseas Investments

On December 15, 2022, 90 civil society groups from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the world called on Chinese authorities and actors to protect biodiversity and people in its overseas investments. As China is chairing the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD #COP15) currently underway this month, civil society and impacted communities voiced concerns that many Chinese banks, companies, contractors, and other Chinese overseas developers are not meeting international norms and standards in protecting the environment, people, and biodiversity, as obligated under China’s green finance and overseas policy frameworks.

The civil society letter highlights China’s commitments to protecting biodiversity, and provides concrete recommendations for how Chinese authorities and overseas actors can do their part in stopping and reversing the biodiversity crisis. The letter also includes a list of 37 controversial projects associated with harmful biodiversity, environmental, and social impacts which Chinese banks and companies are currently supporting, and notes compelling examples where Chinese banks and companies have withdrawn support from activities with harmful biodiversity impacts in the past. Although these cases represent the exception rather than norm, they indicate the capability of Chinese actors to take positive steps in protecting biodiversity.

Read letter here: English_China CBD COP15 Letter_Biodiversity  

Just Released: Routledge Handbook of Rewilding

At the start of the UN #Biodiversity #COP15 taking place in Montreal from Dec 7-16, we are very excited to announce the launch of the Routledge Handbook of Rewilding!
The Handbook is edited by founding members (including Rene Beyers of Elephanatics) of the #IUCN Rewilding Thematic Group and written by more than 60 distinguished experts offering a large diversity of experiences and perspectives.
The book is an invaluable resource for conservation students, academics, rewilding practitioners, policy makers and anyone interested in the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Conservation practitioners who want to integrate rewilding principles into their conservation programs will also highly benefit from this book.
#Rewilding is a fascinating and rapidly emerging field with the goal of helping degraded ecosystems recover and become healthy, resilient, persistent and self-sustaining systems with no or minimal human interference. Rewilding also offers a transformational paradigm shift in the way we think about our relationship with nature. The four sections in the book give a comprehensive overview of key areas of rewilding including: the history of rewilding, ecological theory and practice, rewilding ethics and philosophy. The book gives a global perspective, drawing on case studies from across the world.
Buy yours today at: https://bit.ly/3uyB2ww