LONDON, 10th September 2020 (Wild Survivors News) —
Wild Survivors launches a new human-elephant coexistence (HEC) project in Northern Tanzania, which will protect vulnerable elephant habitat in the Upper Kitete Wildlife Corridor. This is one of the last remaining migratory routes for elephants.
The pilot project is funded by The Elephant Crisis Fund (ECF), an initiative launched by Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network, in partnership with the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.
a focus on elephant habitat
Wildlife conservation has suffered as a result of COVID-19 halting tourism revenue for protected areas. This normally accounts for 18% GDP in Tanzania. Meanwhile, the country is recovering from losing sixty-per cent of its elephant population following the recent poaching epidemic.
A report released today by WWF says that wildlife is in “catastrophic decline” at a rate never seen before. Featured in the BBC’s article by Helen Briggs, Dr Andrew Terry, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), stated,
“If nothing changes, populations will undoubtedly continue to fall, driving wildlife to extinction and threatening the integrity of the ecosystems on which we depend.”
Wild Survivors partner with communities who live alongside wildlife. The new initiative will analyse corridor ecology and monitor elephant movements. While also introducing alternative fuel solutions and permaculture. This aims to reduce villager dependency on natural resources, often used in an unsustainable way.
“Urgent interventions are required to protect biodiversity in Tanzania. We need to preserve the remaining corridors to safeguard a future for elephants. Community engagement and reliable funding are the most important factors to achieving this,” says Francesca Mahoney, founder of Wild Survivors.
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Crucial connectivity for elephants
The corridor provides important connectivity for elephants. This ensures there is genetic diversity essential for species survival. Protecting this natural resource is also key to enhancing human-elephant coexistence.
ECF has recently expanded its portfolio to include HEC as a new pillar, recognising it is a high-priority conservation challenge across the African continent. Wild Survivors is one of the first projects to be awarded under the new pilot grant.
“We are delighted to receive ECF’s support at a hugely important time for elephant conservation in Africa,” said Francesca Mahoney. “Receiving this recognition boosts awareness and momentum for the funding of our community-led conservation projects in Tanzania.”