African Elephants are one of the most heavily poached mammals in the world. Historic and ongoing demand for ivory is the leading reason behind their slaughter, with habitat destruction, fragmentation, and rapid human development posing significant threats also. The African Savanah elephant is listed as endangered on IUCN Red List while the Forest Elephant is listed as critically endangered.
Asian Elephants are classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, suffer threats from habitat loss and fragmentation as well as illegal killing for their ivory and other products, such as skin, which has fuelled poaching to supply a growing demand for elephant skin jewellery. In addition, Asian elephants are regularly victims of retaliatory attacks due to human-elephant conflict and can be killed by contact with human infrastructure, such as collisions with trains.
Conservation Questionnaire for Conservationists: Based on an article written in 2016 which is still pertinent today in 2021.
Elephanatics Director of African Elephants/Co-Founder, Dr. Jake Wall, works with The Mara Elephant Project, using GPS tracking collars and the robust database Dr. Jake Wall developed for Save The Elephants. Scientists and ranger groups can track elephants movements in real time. Here are some photos from an aerial survey done with The Mara Elephant project.
Dr. Jake Wall was instrumental in building a GPS monitoring system with Google in order to track elephant movements. The GPS system monitors the movement and behaviour of an elephant which can determine whether it is sick or injured. He states in the article below – “We’re also very concerned with elephant poaching for ivory, so one of the algorithms I designed looks at whether an animal has stopped moving for a given period of time, which would signal that the animal has been killed.”
National Geographic’s, Explorers/Bio interviews Dr. Jake Wall, Elephant Researcher:
Dr. Jake Wall, collaborated with Google to create Google Street View. This technology allows internet users to take a virtual safari tour in Kenya’s Samburu National Park conservancy by mapping the area. The goal is to aid with the efforts to protect the elephant and to raise awareness about the struggle that remains from poachers. Use Street View here.
Dr. Jake Wall also worked to create Story Spheres, an interactive application, which tells stories about the elephants and people of Samburu through panoramic photographs. The Story Spheres here allow you to meet some of the elephants Dr. Wall knows so well and to help you understand the challenges of life as an orphaned elephant. He also teaches about Save The Elephants hi-tech tracking of elephants. View Story Spheres here for a pleasant journey to Samburu!
At the Canadian Association of Geologists 2015 annual meeting, Dr. Jake Wall was awarded Best Student Presentation. View it here.
Scientific Research is fundamental in understanding the needs of wildlife today. Below are some resources to get you started in learning more about the crisis and mitigation efforts to save the African wild elephant.
- A breakdown of elephant population since the 1500’s taken from the Great Elephant Census: http://www.greatelephantcensus.com/background-on-conservation/
- Read about the first-ever debate on the future of elephants in Kenya: “Things R Elephant” – National Geographic. Reference the Intermediate lesson Plan I, in the education section for ideas on teaching.
- Here is a comprehensive analysis done by Elephanatics outlining the debate on trophy hunting. (PDF file)
- Watch as a curious calf interacts with a Save The Elephants vehicle