Mara Elephant Project continues to focus on raising funds for helicopter operations. July proved to be an extremely expensive month for operating the helicopter due to responding to high levels of human-elephant conflict as crops ripened and MEP needs to make up for some of the extensive flying time. To do so, we’ve updated our helicopter Generosity campaign and are promoting it on Facebook and in our blog. Additionally, we celebrated World Elephant Day on August 12th with an appeal to raise funds for the helicopter through a direct email marketing campaign and Facebook initiative. A big thank you to those supporters that donated!
One of the many helicopter runs we made to remove elephants from farms.
Urgent funds are still needed to keep the helicopter flying each month, not only to respond to incidents of human-elephant conflict where the helicopter can make all the difference moving elephants to safety, but to continue monthly aerial monitoring of our 23 collared elephants to survey their herds.
Collared elephant Hangzhou spotted during a monthly aerial monitoring flight.
This data contributes to building-up a picture of how elephants are moving across the ecosystem, their environment, herd-size and health and also, rather importantly, ensuring their collar is still intact. Having to suspend these routine flights mean that MEP loses vital monitoring information. It may also mean that MEP is unable to respond to conflict with the helicopter. It costs $400 per hour to keep the helicopter in the air and its use can make all the difference to elephants escaping conflict without injury.
Please consider making a donation to support MEP’s helicopter operations today.
MEP’s website was updated in September with the latest information about MEP and a new and improved Donate page (pictured below) that features monthly giving options and an easier check out process. MEP also updated the giving options to include Amazon Smile and the MEP ranger’s Amazon Wish List, where you can purchase essential items to support them in their work.
We are excited to announce that MEP’s Facebook page was verified in September as a 501(3)(c) and updated to allow you to create fundraisers for MEP using your own Facebook page! We would be delighted if you wished to do so and encourage you to read our blog for more instructions on how to do this.
Expert Drones continues to be a great partner for MEP as we expand our unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program.
A MEP ranger using one of our UAVs.
Additionally, the Angama Foundation is running a Mara-themed photography competition, which is opened for entries on January 1, 2018 through October 31st. MEP is excited to have been chosen as one of the local charities that will benefit from the $20 submission fee. Entrants are able to nominate the charity they wish to support, so if you think you have a photo you’d like to enter this could be a really fun way to support our work. Angama have also kindly offered to showcase MEP’s work by displaying one of MEP’s old satellite tracking collars, giving guests the opportunity to sponsor a new one. We are really grateful for their support in this way as we need to raise funds to replace 15 elephant monitoring collars next year as they come to the end of their 3-year life span, so if you would like to support our collaring program please do get in touch for further details.
We’d like to express our continued thanks and gratitude to everyone who has supported MEP’s work over the last few months and for making it possible – we couldn’t do it without you!