World Elephant Day – Together for Elephants

World Elephant Day encourages the global community to work together to support the conservation of elephants.

The 12th of August is World Elephant Day. The day’s aim is to raise awareness on the plight of the African and Asian elephant. Poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. World Elephant Day encourages the global community to work together to support the conservation of elephants.

 

The largest of land animals, African elephants occur in 37 countries in Africa where they continue to roam in forests (forest elephant Loxodonta africana cyclotis), and grassy plains and woodlands (savannah elephant Loxodonta africana africana). They are however classified as “Vulnerable” in the IUCN List of Threatened Species with an estimated 470,000 population, which is drastically reduced from an estimated 3-5 million in the 20th century.

 

There are only 40,000-50,000 Asian elephant  left in the wild, and they’re still in decline today. IUCN classifies this species as “endangered.”

 

Elephants play a vital role in their ecosystems as well as contributing towards tourism and community incomes in many areas. The Long Run member destinations in and around elephant ranges, are contributing to their conservation.

Here is how you can help them:

 

  • Don’t buy ivory or ivory products. The illegal trade in ivory is one of the greatest threats to elephants today. Despite a ban on the international trade in ivory, African elephants are still being poached in large numbers.
  • Advocate for an end to the ivory trade: only elephants should wear ivory
  • Visit elephants in countries where they live in the wild – tourism benefits the economy, provides needed jobs, deters poachers and abuse, and gives you the opportunity to experience the beauty, intelligence, and emotional capacity of these magnificent giants. You can see elephants with the Long Run members Segera Retreat, Cottars 1920s Camp, Borana Conservancy,  Kicheche Mara Camp, and Sasaab  (Kenya), Duma Tau and Mombo (Botswana), Toka Leya Camp (Zambia) and Guludo Beach Lodge and Nkwichi Lodge (Mozambique)
  • Support the many elephant conservation organisations that are conserving habitats, doing species research, stopping the illegal ivory trade and working with communities to stop elephants decline, including The Long Run Members, such as Borana Conservancy who support the work of Rangers.
  • Support healthy, alternative, sustainable livelihoods projects for people, such as The Long Run members’ projects in the 4Cs, to reduce conflict with elephants and the further reduction of the elephant range.
  • Learn about indigenous cultures that have traditionally lived in harmony with elephants such as the Maasai and Samburu of Kenya.
  • Buy and use sustainable palm oil to help limit the conversion of Asian elephant habitat into oil palm plantations. Buy fair trade coffee and certified wood products
  • Support organizations that are building natural sanctuaries and alternative habitat for domesticated elephants to live freely.
  • Create awareness on elephants, their conservation and sustainable tourism that supports elephants

 

Sources:  WWF, World Elephant Day

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