African Elephant Conservation Fund 2012
|Total Number of Grants Awarded||20|
|Total Funds Distributed Through Grants||$1,397,916|
|Total Partner Contributions Leveraged by Grants||$1,606,004|
|Total Number of Countries that Received Program Support||13|
African elephants once numbered in the millions throughout Africa, but by 1990, uncontrolled hunting for their ivory tusks had driven the number of African elephants in the wild to fewer than 500,000 African elephants. With a ban on international ivory sales and trade in 1990, the population of African elephants began to recover in some countries. However, a recent resurgence of illegal poaching of elephants in Africa for both their ivory and meat is threatening this iconic species. African elephants’ natural habitat is also shrinking as human populations grow and forest and savannas are cleared for infrastructure development and agriculture. In addition, extensive logging of forests leaves elephants with a very limited food supply, which results in high levels of human-elephant conflict when hungry elephants enter villages and destroy local farmers’ crops.
Wildlife Without Borders is working to conserve African elephants through the African Elephant Conservation Fund. The Fund, in partnership with government agencies, private organizations, and local communities, is supporting programs that are helping conserve and manage African elephants through law enforcement, habitat management, community initiatives, and other effective conservation methods
A 2011 Congressional appropriation of $1.7 million leveraged over $3.6 million in matching funds and funded 29 projects working to conserve African Elephants, including:
- Africa-wide: Promoting a partnership between African wildlife and law enforcement agencies and their Southeast Asian counterparts to detect and intercept illegally trafficked wildlife and to improve prosecution rates.
- Mozambique: Installing a security radio network in and around the Niassa Reserve to improve coverage for wildlife personnel protecting Mozambiques's largest elephant population.
- Gabon: Supporting the costs of operating a small aircraft to conduct aerial surveillance of national parks to rapidly detect and respond to poaching.
- Democratic Republic of Congo: Constructing housing for wildlife personnel in order to enhance law enforcement and monitoring in an area under pressure from deforestation and heavy poaching.