Our Mission

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s International Affairs Program coordinates domestic and international efforts to protect, restore, and enhance the world’s diverse wildlife and their habitats with a focus on species of international concern. We envision a world where all people value nature and conserve living resources for the well-being of life on Earth.

Our History

African elephants (Genus: Loxodonta) once occurred throughout sub-Saharan Africa. During the sixteenth century, the African continent may have contained as many as 26 million elephants. However, by the start of the twentieth century, their numbers were reduced to 10 million. Slaughtered for their ivory and pushed out of large extents of their suitable habitat, African elephants continued to decline rapidly throughout the twentieth century. With only approximately 600,000 elephants remaining across Africa, the U.S. Congress passed the African Elephant Conservation Act in 1988, which gave rise to the African Elephant Conservation Fund a year later.