Conservation

Cr. photo Sophie Tremblay
April 1, 2021
In a new paper led by Mara Elephant Project’s Director of Research and Conservation Dr. Jake Wall, new research has found that while elephants can live almost anywhere in Africa, their range is restricted by the growing human footprint and the available protected areas.
Key findings from the study include:
* In antiquity, elephants likely were extant across nearly the entire continent.
* Human activity largely shapes the behaviour and distribution of modern elephants.
* 62 % of Africa has suitable habitat for elephants, but the animals use just 17% of that habitat and are absent – for now – in the remaining 83%.
* Savannah elephants have larger ranges than forest elephants.
* Males of both savannah and forest elephants have larger ranges than females.
* Approximately 57% of the elephant range is currently outside of protected areas.
* Out of all the factors influencing elephant range, it is human influence and the amount of protected area that had the greatest effect.
* Both an ethic of human-elephant coexistence, and effective protected areas, are essential to securing their future.
Read paper here: http://bitly.ws/cs2t
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April 2020

“MEP’s EarthRanger by Vulcan Inc. integrates data-streams from a wide variety of sources like elephant collars, GPS trackers used by the rangers or the Spydertracker that tracks the helicopter. Then, data is stored and accessed securely in a cloud database. EarthRanger has a web-app to help us visualize the data feeds in real-time and also to collect new information about ‘events’ like illegal logging or arrests as they occur.” – MEP Director of Research & Conservation Dr. Jake Wall

MEP’s EarthRanger One Year Later

Conservation Questionnaire for Conservationists:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfuIf1JhcuS9X-Q5uRnNncgXMWoId597VdmANN6QDJSgS4z_A/viewform?usp=sf_linkApril, 2017

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“When humans and elephants meet there is a war on space and everyone is trying to use it” – Marc Goss, CEO, MEP.

From conflict to co-existence. What is the most cost-effective, humane, and lasting way to deal with human-elephant conflict, along with preventing poaching and continued destruction of forests in the Masaai Mara, Kenya, area?

Mara Elephant Project details the problems and solutions in this educational video about the impact they are having on neutralizing and mitigating all forms of conflict in the Masaai Mara from their usage of drones, chili fences, helicopters and high tech management tools, such as the EarthRanger.

A much watch for those of you who love elephants and want to support the people doing the hard work on the ground on a daily basis.

Conflict to Co-Existence – Mara Elephant Project video November 2019

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Elephant Treks: Samburu National Reserve, Kenya. The next best thing to being there!
Enter into a world of harmony amongst the gentle elephant giants of Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

https://www.google.com/maps/about/behind-the-scenes/streetview/treks/samburu-kenya/

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August 2016

http://bit.ly/2iGpGVz

Elephanatics’ Director of Communications, Christina Toms, and Chief Scientific Research Advisor, Dr. Jake Wall, have moved to Kenya temporarily.

They are currently in the Masai Mara working towards elephant conservation 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 a recent aerial survey done with The Mara Elephant project.
Photo #1

Photo #1

In photo 1, you can see a big bull elephant with his tracking collar on.  The bull looks healthy and it’s always interesting to see if there are any other elephants around, as bulls often travel alone.
Photo #2

Photo #2

In the second photo, you can see a female elephant travelling with her family.  It’s much more difficult to count hers than solo elephants from the air.  How many do you see?
Photo #3

Photo #3

In the third photo, there is a giant herd we found on the side of a hill.  Herds this big require many photos to count them all upon return to your desk.  It’s a nuanced situation, as getting closer with the plane or helicopter might make the elephants start running, whereas being too far away makes it difficult to see what’s going on.  Thank goodness for zoom lenses!  On one hand, it’s lovely to see this many elephants together.  On the other, it makes scientists wonder WHY they are sticking so close together.  Could it be the threat of human encroachment on their land?  This is a growing problem in the Mara.
Aside from counting elephants from the air and ground in Samburu, Tsavo and the Masai Mara, Jake Was also up in the air mapping the new railroad in Kenya to try and identify potential locations for wildlife corridors.  (More about this massive railroad project here:  http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/mombasa-nairobi-standard-gauge-railway-project)  As it is now, elephants and other wildlife have a rough time crossing the highway that runs from Nairobi to Mombasa on the coast.  This new railroad will add to the potential dangers they face as they follow their instinctual movement patterns across the country.
There are many people working towards finding solutions for the human-elephant conflict in Kenya, as well as the recent rise in Ivory poaching.  The Mara Elephant Project is one small and powerful project that Elephanatics is proud to support.  Find out more about them here:  http://maraelephantproject.org/
and follow them on Facebook to see some of the truly awesome photos and stories they share.  https://www.facebook.com/ESCAPEfdn/

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.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/google-elephant-system-made-by-b-c-man-helps-fight-poaching-1.2709745

An elephant researcher, Dr. Jake Wall, mourns an elephant lost to poachers:

http://gizmodo.com/an-elephant-researcher-mourns-an-elephant-lost-to-poach-1590604819

National Geographic’s, Explorers/Bio interviews Dr. Jake Wall, Elephant Researcher:

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/explorers/bios/jake-wall/

While Dr. Jake Wall is working in Samburu, he gets a visit to his vehicle by a known elephant, Yeager, who is in musth – beware! Have a watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HiAuihRTV0E

Dr. Jake Wall, our Chief Scientific Research Advisor, recently 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.

View Dr. Wall’s speech at the 2015 Global March for Elephants and Rhinos here and view more photos from the march here.

Jake speech

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.

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Elephant conservation organizations endorsed by Elephanatics.

FYI

  • 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

 

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