Habitat destruction and fragmentation pose the most significant threats to elephant populations in the wild in both Africa and Asia.
Through a landscape-level approach, IFAW is working to protect critical elephant habitats by improving park security, securing linkages that connect parks, mitigating human-elephant conflicts, encouraging communities to realise benefits from non-intrusive alternative livelihood opportunities and involving communities to be part of solutions.
IFAW believes in a comprehensive policy approach to elephant habitat protection, not only protecting individual landscapes or parks.
Through Prof. Rudi van Aarde’s research at the University of Pretoria’s Conservation Ecology Research Unit (CERU), IFAW is studying elephant populations in southern Africa to establish an objective, scientific basis for landscape management and conservation policy decision making. CERU assesses populations and studies how spatial dynamics and population variables (births, deaths, growth rates, etc.) change over time, as well as how elephants interact with human populations and biodiversity.
CERU’s work has provided a firm foundation for the protection of elephant habitats, as has research being done by other renowned scientists, including Cynthia Moss and Vicki Fishlock in Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
Through Dr. Moss’s behavioral studies, IFAW is in a much better position to work with the Kenya Wildlife Service to promote ethically sound management approaches in the Amboseli landscape.
In partnership with the School for Field Studies and the Kenya Wildlife Service, IFAW also monitors landscape movements of Amboseli elephants using satellite collars. The data provides valuable information about critical wildlife corridors and dispersal areas outside the park that need to be secured in order to ensure the long-term viability of Amboseli’s elephants.
Read more about our projects:
Kenya’s Amboseli National Park
India's Manas National Park
Liwonde National Park in Malawi.