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Conservation News - All About Elephants



African savanna elephants (loxodonta africana) are under threat and currently classified as endangered, with global populations declining by 60% in the last 50 years. However, the populations in Botswana are stable and actually increasing in number. The largest concentration of elephants on the planet is found in Northern Botswana (estimated to be 200,000).




The rural nature of many of the villages in these areas, means that an "elephant in the room" is not an entirely implausible scenario. The species' proximity to human populations creates threats to elephant survival, with the primary drivers being poaching, habitat loss and fragmentation. The relative refuge that elephants find in Botswana in the context of declining global populations, makes the conservation efforts there that much more significant; and solutions that look to foster co-existence between humans and elephants are therefore a crucial aspect of conservation efforts! 


The rural village of Moreomaoto (the closest village to camp Meno a Kwena) happens to be in one of the highest human wildlife conflict areas of Botswana.  In order to mitigate the conflict Natural Selection have been funding Elephants for Africa (EFA) through their elephant proof fencing initiative. This project entails combining 62 small-scale farms into one communal plot and erecting nearly 5 miles of fencing with 21 miles of electric wiring to deter the elephants. The EFA community officers are leading the building process with farmers participating in the construction after which the farmers will then be in charge of maintaining the fence. For more information on Elephants for Africa please click HERE.


As part of Wilderness Safaris' impact strategy to help alleviate human-wildlife conflict, they recently donated five satellite collars to Ecoexist to help collect data, and map elephant movements and wildlife corridors in Botswana. This forms part of the company's long-term commitment to conservation, working with local authorities and partners to safeguard and preserve areas of pristine wilderness and the wildlife that inhabits them.



The Weavers of Vumbura Plains: The newly refurbished Vumbura Plains Camp is a proud tribute to the people and traditions that inspired it. None more so than the camp staff who were instrumental in literally weaving their culture into the camp decor. Meet four of these talented women - Maikaelelo, Omphile, Nakaze and Malebogo - who hail from the villages comprising Wilderness Safaris' local community partner, the Okavango Community Trust here.




The Honeyguide Foundation in northern Tanzania aims to foster local ownership in conservation, creating a future where people and wildlife not only coexist but live in a mutually beneficial relationship. The Honeyguide programs focus on five core goals: Enterprise Development, Management & Governance, Communications, Human-Wildlife Conflict Prevention, and Wildlife & Habitat Protection. Projects include the K9 dog tracking unit located near Tarangire National Park, the first K9 anti-poaching unit in Tanzania and an instant success in reducing elephant poaching around the Park.

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