Elephants for Africa is dedicated to the conservation of elephants and other wildlife in their natural ecosystems. The sustainable use of natural resources is vital to the continued survival of mankind, in terms of access to food, shelter and livelihoods, but also through the intrinsic value of wild places as part of our natural heritage.

Elephants are ecosystem shapers. By knocking down trees and opening up bushy areas they can increase the amount of grass available to other herbivores in the system. They move across vast distances, using distinct pathways that also offer easy travel routes to other species. Elephants can also act as seed dispersers, facilitating the growth of many woody species by depositing seeds in their faeces as they move around the region. They are also hugely iconic, and are used across the world as symbols of wilderness, strength, wisdom and nature. Given all of these factors, conserving elephants and the resources that they require is beneficial to entire ecosystems, as well as to the humans that rely on them.

In 2007, there were an estimated 472 000 elephants in Africa. The population dropped to an estimated 436 000 in 2013, and the rate of decline is increasing at an alarming rate. This dramatic decline, due to the illegal ivory trade and human wildlife conflict, has led to an IUCN status of Vulnerable.

In addition to the imminent threat of extinction from poaching, 70-85% of the population rely on lands outside of protected areas, alongside humans. Habitat loss and fragmentation, and expanding human settlements, with ensuing competition for resources, are reducing the area of land available to elephants, so that some populations only survive in small numbers surrounded by farmland and human habitations.

At Elephants for Africa, we are working towards conserving African elephants through our holistic approach of understanding the needs and requirements of both elephants and humans. Our applied research and education will empower local villagers to live alongside wildlife, understand elephants and encourage them to appreciate the benefits that elephants can bring, while mitigating the damage that they sometimes cause.