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Every Elephant Counts

8/12/2016 : Paul G. Allen

Every Elephant Counts

8/12/2016 : Paul G. Allen

A little more than two years ago, my team and a dedicated group of conservationists set out to count Africa’s savanna elephants, an effort called the Great Elephant Census (GEC). Our goal was to learn how many remain and where, then use the information to help protect these iconic animals from the poachers that are driving them toward extinction.

Our aerial survey – the first in 40 years – covered nearly 345,000 square miles over 18 countries, and our pilots and census crews followed strict protocols to ensure they gathered consistent data. Gathering such high-quality data is vital, because it helps us identify challenges and zero in on the most effective approaches to attacking them. This directly leads to better approaches in stopping the decimation of elephant populations.

While we are still analyzing final results and will release them in early September, preliminary numbers suggest that overall elephant losses are even greater than expected, and that poachers are killing them much faster than they can reproduce.

As grim as this trend is, the GEC also revealed a few rays of hope. Read the full post on LinkedIn >>