Cr. photo to Sophie Tremblay

Conservation Questionnaire for Conservationists:, 2017

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

August 2016

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:  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:
and follow them on Facebook to see some of the truly awesome photos and stories they share.


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.”

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

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

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:

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.


Elephant conservation organizations endorsed by Elephanatics.


Please see attached link: Elephant Crisis Fund, created by Save The elephants

Individuals, scientists, conservation organizations, and governments are uniting behind a common strategy to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand for ivory. The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF) exists to fuel this coalition.

The ECF is a joint project of Save the Elephants (STE) and the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN). STE has more than half a century of single-minded focus on elephant conservation that is deeply rooted in its on-the-ground work and yet also reaches the uppermost corridors of power. The ECF combines this experience with the efficiency of WCN, which was named the #1 wildlife conservation charity in the US by Charity Navigator. The ECF has only one goal: to end the elephant crisis. Please view the link below to learn more about the great work they do to save elephants:

Please take the time to read their annual report:

2015-ECF-Annual-Report-web (1)


  • A breakdown of elephant population since the 1500’s taken from the Great Elephant Census:
  • This article speaks about different non-government organizations and how to best choose one to donate to: Elephant Charities: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – Africa Geographic
  • 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)
  • IFAW  (International Fund for Animal Welfare) Elephant Trophy Imports from 3 more African countries no longer welcome in EU
  • Watch as a curious calf interacts with a Save The Elephants vehicle


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