A look at recent developments in elephant conservation efforts in Africa

September 26, 2014 admin Africa Wildlife FoundationAfrica's endangered animalsafrican elephant conservationTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africatunde folawiyo biotunde folawiyo profile

The death of Satao, a 45-year old elephant who had been living in a Kenyan reserve, was met with outrage by wildlife conservationists. The elephant’s killing at the hands of poachers was all the more worrying, due to the fact that this creature had been under almost 24-hour surveillance by the game rangers who had been patrolling the reserve. However, the rangers were unable to follow Satao after he roamed into a part of the park covered in dense bushes, and it was during these moments that the poachers spotted and killed their target.

Tunde FolawiyoWhilst the passing of this elephant was a devastating blow to conservationists, and those who run the game reserve, it has helped to bring the plight of this species back into the spotlight. At the moment, poaching is one of the most serious threats to the African elephant. As a conservation enthusiast, Tunde Folawiyo is probably aware that last year alone, over 20,000 were killed by poachers, who then sold the tusks on the black markets of Asia.

According to experts in the US, this surge in poaching in recent years is the direct result of a lack of international co-operation; despite the fact that neighbouring countries across the African continent are experiencing the same wildlife conservation issues, they rarely share information with one another.

One conservationist, named Rory Young, is going to great lengths to protect what is left of this species. His strategies include drawing up of detailed field manuals, and providing local rangers with the tools they need to fend off potential poachers. He believes that rangers simply aren’t being given the training they need to do their jobs, and says that in many countries where elephant poaching is most prevalent, there are next to no training systems or standard operating procedures which rangers can adhere to. Young, who works with a conservation group named Chengeta Wildlife, is now looking to raise money to provide wildlife protection teams with better training.

It will no doubt please Tunde Folawiyo to know that one country – namely, Botswana – has been doing very well in its efforts to protect the elephant; recent estimates indicate that its current population stands at about 200,000. This is due in large part to a group called ‘Elephants without Borders’, which has been carrying out aerial censuses of this species for more than four decades now. The information which this activity provides is then used to identify which areas of the country are most in need of marshalling. However, Botswana’s small human population, coupled with its economic and political stability, are also believed to contribute to its success in warding off poachers.

Folawiyo has been a keen supporter of wildlife conservation for some time now. You can learn more about this businessman by looking through this collection of Tunde Folawiyo Flickr images.

Africa's endangered animalsAfrica's endangered speciesAfrica's greatest survivorsAfrican ElephantAfrican Elephant populationsAfrican Wildlife FoundationAWFelephant poachingelephantsillegal poachingprotecting Africa's elephantsTunde Folawiyotunde folawiyo africawildlife conservation

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