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The Human Footprint Project

Kenya’s north is changing fast. Development is already encroaching on the reserves where STE’s research centre is based. Many new lodges have sprung up within the reserves, while a newly-built highway is attracting ribbons of development on either side and has swollen Archer’s Post into a busy town. By 2030, the nation’s vision for the area includes a railway, oil pipeline, highway and a resort city. STE’s Human Footprint project aims to understand and visualize the effects of increased human populations and infrastructure on the land used by elephants in and around Samburu and Buffalo Springs Reserves. By better understanding the interaction of elephants and humans we can work with government to plan for a future to allow both species to thrive.

In 2005, there were five permanent lodges in the area and one under construction. Now there are 11 fully operational lodges inside the reserve boundaries and two just outside park limits.

Lodges employ community members, and bring tourists who buy gifts, artifacts and leave donations, giving an economic incentive to grow roots near the reserves. A paved highway bordering the East side of the Reserves was completed in 2010. Easy access to larger markets and fast transportation have greatly benefited the Samburu and Turkana people, but has created a dangerous obstacle for migrating elephants and speeded the transport of illegal ivory.

Of the multiple threats that elephants face such as poaching, drought, and climate change, coping with an expanding human presence is possibly the most critical long-term challenge.

This prompted the bit of the human footprint project. Mapping changes over time is crucial to understanding the encroachment of humans into what was previously wildlife dominated landscape. Overlaying this with elephant movement data is imperative if we are to safeguard humans and elephant safety. In terms of policy, the correlations between these maps can be used to help conservancies plan where their settlements should be positioned to avoid elephant corridors. As the data is refined and used, this sort of planning at a local level could translate into a political push for national wildlife corridors.

Donate

The fate of elephants is in the balance. The record price of ivory has attracted organised crime, rebel militias and even terrorist groups, fuelling a surge of poaching across the continent. Without the outstanding support and generosity of our donors, STE would not be able to continue securing a future for the elephants. We urgently need your support, while there is still time. You can be of vital assistance by donating to either our core funds or to any of our projects.

Spread the Word

The fate of elephants is in the balance. The record price of ivory has attracted organised crime, rebel militias and even terrorist groups, fuelling a surge of poaching across the continent. Without the outstanding support and generosity of our donors, STE would not be able to continue securing a future for the elephants. We urgently need your support, while there is still time. You can be of vital assistance by donating to either our core funds or to any of our projects.

How You Can Help

Over the last years our world-leading conservation efforts have been possible thanks to the dedication and generosity of loyal supporters. To join them you can donate in a number of ways:

Elephants are fast disappearing from the wild. Without urgent, international action they could be gone within a generation. The Elephant Crisis Fund provides rapid, catalytic support for the most effective projects designed to stop the killing, thwart traffickers and end the demand for ivory. 100% of all donations reach the field.

Save the Elephants is funded almost entirely by private donations. It is only through the generous support of donors that we are able to continue our important elephant conservation work. We rely entirely on funds, grants and donations from around the world, so thank you for helping us to secure a future for these fascinating creatures.

Our unique brand of conservation education encourages students to become ambassadors of their rich environment. We also give opportunities to friends around the world to help educate young minds and improve the infrastructure of their schools. Sponsor a child & help build a future for wildlife.