Our mission is to secure a future for elephants and to sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live; to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species
Save the Elephants (STE) works to secure a future for elephants in a rapidly changing world. To battle the current surge in ivory poaching, the STE/WCN Elephant Crisis Fund is identifying and supporting the most effective global partners to stop poaching, thwart traffickers and end demand for ivory. Leaders in elephant science, STE also provides cutting-edge scientific insights into elephant behavior, intelligence, and long-distance movement and applies them to the long-term challenges of elephant conservation.
Save the Elephants was founded in 1993 by Iain Douglas-Hamilton. A research & conservation organisation, Save the Elephants (STE) is a UK-registered charity headquartered in Nairobi with its principal research station in Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya. STE’s mission is to secure a future for elephants and sustain the beauty and ecological integrity of the places they live, to promote man’s delight in their intelligence and the diversity of their world, and to develop a tolerant relationship between the two species. The elephants of Samburu are now one of the best-studied elephant populations in the world, with detailed histories of almost 1,000 individuals and their interactions over the last 18 years. Data from their behaviour and population dynamics have allowed scientists to understand the impacts of the ivory poaching crisis on populations across Africa. Pioneers in radio and GPS tracking of elephants, STE works to understand ecosystems from an elephant’s perspective. Real-time information on their movements is proving a powerful tool to protect herds from poachers, and long-term data allows us to influence landscape planning to take elephants into account. With four members of staff on the African Elephant Specialist Group, we aspire to be a leading source of information on the status of elephants across Africa. The ivory poaching crisis is a continental issue that cannot be solved by any one organisation – or even nation – on its own. In 2013 STE launched the Elephant Crisis Fund run jointly with the Wildlife Conservation Network to fuel the growing coalition of organisations that are working to stop the killing, stop the trafficking and end the demand for ivory to secure a future for elephants.
Research and Monitoring
We conduct vital research on elephant behaviour and ecology and pioneered GPS radio tracking in Africa to provide fresh insight into the life of elephants. After over 20 years of intensive monitoring the elephants of Samburu are one of the world’s best-studied populations. We also assist in implementing a UN-level programme to monitor the illegal killing of elephants. Our solid scientific data has helped shift international policy towards a better future for the species.
We work with wildlife departments, protected area managers, and communities to assist their efforts to defend elephants against ivory poachers and traffickers. We develop and deploy cutting edge tracking systems to monitor and protect elephants. Through our Elephant Crisis Fund we have supported more than 83 partners in the implementation of over 300 different projects in 40 different countries (July 2020) aimed at stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and ending the demand for ivory.
Africa’s human population is set to double by 2050, creating enormous pressures for elephants. As farmland spreads and infrastructure developments fragment habitat, elephants are being forced into increasing conflict with people. STE provides information on elephant movements for landscape planners to protect rangeland and creates innovative solutions to prevent elephants from raiding crops, such as our Elephants & Bees project
Spreading Awareness Globally
Elephants are intelligent creatures with complex levels of consciousness with a profound role in human cultures as well as African ecosystems. We share our awareness of their importance both locally and internationally through films, publications, a computerised elephant library, a news service, social networks and our website. We involve local people in research and education to develop a conservation ethic based on local knowledge and elephant needs, and recognize that the best ambassadors for elephants are the people with whom they share their land.