Save The Elephants Update 2017

Africa is rapidly changing. Elephants are increasingly threatened by a tidal wave of development and encroachment. As economies expand, wide open areas of unfenced elephant ranges contract. The Kenyan elephant range presents a stark example. A century of growing human population and oerstocking of livestock has severely degraded most pastures. When hit by seasonal drought, herders desperate for grazing invade conservation areas including Samburu. once grass is gone the herders may move on, but little is left for wildlife.
— Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of Save The Elephants

WWW has pledged $100,000 for STE Northern Tracking Project 2018. In order to protect elephants in the face of massive infrastucture developement projects they are being radio collared. Wearing tracking collars elephants are unveiling key wildlife habitats and the corridors that link them which in turn can inform large scale developement. The Kenyan government has commenced developement plans to transform the town of Isiolo - located a mere 34km from the Buffalo Springs Reserve - into a major resort city. A large dam and irrigation scheme are part of that growth. More worrying - a road, railway and oil pipeline network - is also planned to run from South Sudan and Ethiopia through Isiolo to the costal district of Lamu. This is going to be huge with Samburu National Reserve, Save the Elephants Reseach Center and Elephant Watch Camp in the crossfire. STE has been at the forefront of mapping all existing wildlife corridors to guide the government in planning for a future with wildlife.

The Samburu Orphan Project has been a 4 year research project conducted by Shifra Goldenberg and George Wittemyer at Colorado State to which WorldWomenWork has donated $400,000. The newest paper documenting the social pattern of orphans is out: "Orphaned Female Elephant Social Bonds Reflect Lack of Access to Mature Adults." This study is critical to understanding the magnitude of what these elephants are experiencing in a profoundly altered social structure. How are they going to cope and recover? The elephants of Samburu are one of the best studied populations in the world and they can provide a powerful window into what this continent wide poaching is doing to elephant society.