Elephants for Africa
To address the wider conservation and management issues facing elephants in Botswana
The objectives of Elephants for Africa, which was established in 2002, are:
- Enable the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP), AfESG, local and international stakeholders to make informed conservation and management decisions on the remaining African elephant populations, through the provision of sound scientific data on social and ecological requirements of this keystone species.
- Forecast future elephant movements due to range expansion as well as the possible effects of climate change by quantifying the quality of available habitat, seasonality of use and the energetics of elephant–habitat interactions.
- Instigate an effective human–elephant conflict (HEC) policy in Botswana, by facilitating the identification of perpetrators of crop damage through research into identification through spoor, photography and DNA hair analysis. In addition a feasibility study into the identification of HEC "hotspots" will be undertaken.
- Enhance the knowledge of elephant vocal communication for use in remote monitoring and possible mitigation techniques.
- Investigate the use of temporal gland secretions in elephant communication.
- Develop, alongside other elephant researchers, an effective Bio-Acoustic Fence to manipulate the movement of elephants for use in HEC, problem animal control and expansion into new and old rangelands.
Health and Welfare
Enable better management of
male elephants throughout their range states and in captivity by:
- Understanding the physiology of puberty, adolescence and adulthood in male African elephants, through behaviour and hormonal studies.
- Improve our understanding of their social and ecological requirements.
- Understanding the mechanics of musth suppression in male elephants.
- Enhance the sustainability of fragmented elephant populations through the collection of baseline data on the parasite load and taxa that a wild unfenced population are exposed to.
- Increase the success of translocation and reintroduction programmes throughout Africa, by understanding the social requirements of male elephants and the factors contributing to successful integration of "unknown" elephants into new areas.
- Provide regular up to date information on the elephants of Botswana to the DWNP, Okavango Research Institute (ORI), Botswana Wildlife Training Institute (BWTI), schools and local stakeholders.
- Contribute to the global understanding and appreciation of the African elephants through publication in international peer reviewed journals, magazines, websites and blogs and attendance of conferences, symposium, festivals and other meetings.
- Train the conservation leaders of the future through the Boyce-Zero Scholarship Fund and Elefun weekends.
- Engage local children in their wildlife though our Elefun programme.
- Build local capacity through environmental education training sessions for local safari camp staff.
- Dissimilate vital knowledge on animal behaviour, mitigation techniques, important economical and economical implications of sustainable wildlife utilisation through the development and launch of a radio programme with the support and input of the DWNP and the Ministry of Agriculture.
WAZA Conservation Project 11006 is implemented by Elephants for Africa, with support provided by the Chicago Zoological Society, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium. Other stakeholders involved in the project include the Office of the President and Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Botswana.
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