Since 2011, the Mara Elephant Project has been playing a critical on the ground role in defending the Mara’s elephants from poachers and responding to human-elephant conflict. The rangers of MEP are local people given long-term employment and the skills to be protectors and stewards for Kenya’s irreplaceable ecosystem.
“WHEN IT IS REPORTED THAT SOMEONE HAS KILLED WILDLIFE IN A CERTAIN AREA, WE ARE THE ONES TO RESPOND. WHEN ELEPHANTS ARE SEEN, WE ARE THE ONES TO RUN TO THEM. WE HAVE BECOME THE LARGEST DEFENSE FORCE IN ALL OF THE MARA THAT GUARDS THE WHOLE AREA.” James Ekiru, Core Commander, Mara Elephant Project
Since 2012 MEP has:
TRAINED, deployed AND MANAGED a TEAM of 31 rangers in the field
Trained, deployed and managed three intelligence rangers and a network of informants
THIS ACCOUNTS FOR OVER 1,200 HOURS OF RANGER TRAINING
In addition to the 31 rangers MEP manages, we have expanded our partnerships recently to include 10 armed Kenya Wildlife Service rangers and 10 Narok County Government rangers alongside the MEP team.
These partnerships allow MEP to cover a vast territory of unprotected land:
The Rapid Response Unit covers 4,500 km2 or 1.1 million acres
The Patrol Units cover 1,000 km2 or 247,000 acres
The Intelligence Unit covers 10,000 km2 or 2.4 million acres