Vice President - Global Programs
Animals and people both need space to survive. Yet our world is becoming more crowded in livable spaces due to factors like climate change and fast-growing human populations. This threatens the lives of Africa’s most iconic species, elephants.
Fewer than 400,000 elephants exist on the African continent today. One third of the entire population is found in Zimbabwe and Kenya. Despite worldwide concern about elephants, their numbers across Africa are still in decline – as much as 8% per year.
Currently, 1.3 billion people live in sub-Saharan Africa. That number is expected to double in the next 40 years.
Elephants once traveled freely across unpopulated lands, following traditional migratory routes to find food and water.
Expanding human developments now break up previously connected habitats – fields of crops and urban sprawl now block centuries-old elephant pathways.
Infrastructure — like roads and railways — becomes a deadly obstacle, cross-cutting and fragmenting important wildlife corridors.
As connections between protected spaces have disappeared, human-elephant conflicts have become more common. Elephants that roam into populated areas in search of food or water pose a threat to the people who live there. Elephants can destroy a community’s livelihood by raiding crops and grain stores, or destroying water supplies — clearly tragic outcomes for the people trying to protect their livelihoods, who sometimes retaliate against the elephants.
Climate change and more frequent extreme weather conditions are causing significant changes to the land.
Protected parks exist across the continent, but lack of connectivity for elephants to move safely between them is a fundamental challenge. More than 60% of elephants live in or migrate into areas outside of formally protected spaces, This makes them vulnerable to all the factors described and to the greatest threat to their survival, poaching.
Now, more than ever, we must find successful ways to co-exist with and protect elephants.
To protect the African elephant and the people who live alongside them, we are partnering to secure land for safe pathways. We’re on the ground working with governments, communities, land owners and wildlife rangers as part of our most ambitious conservation project.
Please join us.
Together, we can connect protected spaces, beginning in East and Southern Africa, and create the room elephants need to roam. When young elephants are orphaned, we rescue them and local, expert animal caregivers spend years raising the elephants among others in the rescue herd, until they are ready to return to the protected wild spaces. At the same time, we are ensuring communities that share the land with elephants and other animals thrive alongside them.
“By transforming our approach to conservation we can protect African elephants, develop healthy, resilient ecosystems to support communities, and ensure animals and people can truly thrive together. Join us and together we can deliver Room to Roam, transform conservation and strengthen the chance of survival for African elephants.”
Jimmiel Mandima, Deputy Vice President, Conservation
Vice President - Global Programs
Did you know that wildlife spend 70-80% of their time outside national parks and in community lands? For every 10 wild animals you see during a game drive within your favorite national park, up to eight of these wild animals will most likely be within the community-owned lands for the larger part of the year. What then guarantees you an opportunity to find healthy wildlife numbers the next time you take your family or friends to the national park after a year or two? Community rangers.
October 8, 2019MoU between IFAW and ZimParks: The start of a value-driven Conservation Partnership for wildlife and people to thrive together in Zimbabwe
October 3, 2019airborne rescue in Zimbabwe by Wild is Life-ZEN and the International Fund for Animal Welfare saves tiny elephant orphan
September 18, 2019Kenya and Tanzania cross-border wildlife security patrols: combating wildlife crime in trans-frontier conservation areas
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With projects in more than 40 countries, we rescue individual animals, act locally to prevent animal cruelty, and campaign for the protection of wildlife and habitats.See our work