The good news is that the number of poached elephants decreased in 2016, the bad news is that human-elephant conflict has increased significantly, which is why adding the Robinson R44 helicopter to the Mara Elephant Project HEC Toolkit was so crucial. This was made possible through the generous support of Karen Blixen Camp and Ree Park Safari.
CEO Marc Goss moving a herd of elephants to safety.
I think what I’m most proud of from 2016 is MEP’s continued cultivation of really great partnerships with organizations like those mentioned above, as well as Save The Elephants, Kenya Wildlife Service, Mara North Conservancy and the Narok County Government. Without our partners, MEP wouldn’t be able to have the success we’ve had in 2016 in saving elephant lives. The Mara ecosystem is a better place because we can all work together to ensure that this landscape species doesn’t parish.
CEO Marc Goss with KWS Senior Warden
Particularly in the last quarter, MEP is happy to announce the addition of Victoria Fanthorpe as development director to our expanding team. She will bring invaluable fundraising experience to MEP in 2017. We hope to establish a yearly fundraiser and keep encouraging grassroots efforts to raise funds for MEP.
In the last quarter alone MEP has arrested 15 poachers and seized 535 kg of bush meat, one cheetah skin, one leopard skin, 19 kg of ivory as well as weapons, snares and bows all used for illegal activity in the Mara.
Recently arrested poachers.
While poaching is down in the Mara, MEP in the last quarter continues to see the rise of human-elephant conflict incidents month-to-month. Going from 14 to 25 in the span of a one-month reporting period.
The collaring of Olchoda.
In 2017 Mara Elephant Project is excited to expand our fundraising capabilities and hopefully add to our arrest record, ivory seizure, flight hours for the helicopter and use new and innovative technologies to mitigate human-elephant conflict. We are also excited for the addition of a helicopter landing pad and hanger to keep this effective and expensive tool in peak condition.
The rendering for the MEP hanger design.
A personal highlight for me was visiting Indianapolis, Indiana, USA in October for the Indianapolis Prize and meeting amazing conservationist from all over the world who are doing great work.
The finalist for the Indianapolis Prize with honoree Sigourney Weaver.
Thank you for your continued support of Mara Elephant Project.