The Mara Elephant Project is spearheading the war on poaching: when trouble strikes, MEP rangers are the first to arrive and secure the elephants in our areas of operation.
Our ranger teams protect elephants by conducting anti-poaching patrols, intervening in instances of human-animal conflict and monitoring elephant movements with in-field tracking methods.
Living in field bases for two-week intervals, each five-man patrol covers a strategically predetermined area of the Mara. MEP is currently operating with four patrol teams covering 1,000km2 (247,105 acres) and one Rapid Response Unit that covers a 2,000km2 (494,210 acres) area. Through the generosity of Karen Blixen Camp, MEP has access to a Robinson R44 helicopter. This enables rangers to be deployed and elephants to be monitored at a moments notice over Narok County. The CEO of MEP flies the helicopter and all rangers have been trained in helicopter standard operating procedures.
Comprehensive military and tactical training enables our rangers to stop the front lines of poaching. Day and night, ranger patrols cover our areas of operation. Our rangers keep elephants alive by responding to community conflict with safe mitigation methods and anti-poaching operations that lead to the arrest and prosecution of poachers.
Understanding and predicting ivory trends helps MEP to stop poaching before it’s too late. Data collected from collared elephants and mortality statistics help guide our anti-poaching patrols. The illegal ivory trade is a complicated network of local and international criminal syndicates that require 24/7 elephant monitoring. To navigate this network, MEP works in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service. The KWS has attached two of their rangers to each of our patrol teams, which is key for proper law enforcement and ensuring the prosecution of poachers for wildlife crimes.
Elephants move long distances in a short amount of time so when necessary we use aircraft to locate elephants and deploy our rangers.