Photo by Chad Cocking
There are many vulnerable species across Africa whose numbers are declining rapidly as a result of poaching. One such species is the African elephant, whose populations have been decimated with over 100,000 elephants killed in the past three years alone.
In 1989, when elephants were added to the international list of the most endangered species, there were about 600,000 remaining, less than one percent of their original number. Now, fewer than 300,000 wild African elephants remain.
Asian elephants were never as abundant as their African cousins, and today they are even more endangered than African elephants.
Insatiable Asian elephant ivory demand has not abated. The lust for trinkets, and the legal ivory market acting as a cover for the illegal ivory trade fuels a cruel, heartless, senseless slaughter.
Big Life Foundation: Big Life has established a successful holistic conservation model in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem that can be replicated across the African continent. Big Life seeks to protect and sustain wildlife and wild lands, including one of the greatest remaining populations of elephants in East Africa. Protecting over 1.6 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa, Big Life employs sustainable conservation through a community-based, collaborative approach that supports people and so in turn the people support conservation. Big Life was the first organization in East Africa to establish coordinated cross-border anti-poaching operations by using innovative conservation strategies and collaborating closely with local communities, partner NGOs, national parks, and government agencies. Big Life strives to prevent the poaching of elephants and all wildlife within our area of operation, installing 30 permanent outposts and tent-based field units, tracker dogs, and aerial surveillance. In addition to preventing poaching before it happens, we track and apprehend wildlife criminals and collaborate with local prosecutors to ensure that they are punished to the fullest extent of the law.
Supporting the work of Dr. Lucy King and Save The Elephants in Kenya to scale their beehive fence campaign. These beehive fences deter elephants based on their natural fear of bees. The Elephants and Bees Project reduces damage from crop-raiding elephants and helps abate human retribution killings. The Beehive Fencing also creates an economic boost to poverty-stricken rural communities through pollination services and the sustainable harvesting of “Elephant-Friendly Honey”. Dr. King’s innovative beehive fence project protects rural African farms from crop-raiding elephants, supports farmers and helps purchase community honey harvesting vehicles.
Rural small scale farmers benefit from Beehive Fences in many ways including:
Reduced invasive elephant crop raids that often cause trauma and injury to family members;
Increased yield production through both reduced damage and, potentially, increased bee pollination of crops;
Additional income through the sale of ‘Elephant-Friendly Honey’ and bee products;
Increased quality of life with greater income and less life-threatening HEC conflict situations with elephants