The greatest challenge to both forest elephants and savannah elephants today is illegal killing to feed the ivory trade. Between 2010 and 2012 alone, some 100,000 were poached across the continent. In some parts of Africa, habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation are also threats, as is human-elephant conflict.
A world where people and ecologically functioning populations of wild African elephants can co-exist and thrive across the elephants' range.
How will we get there?
We strive to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand. We do this by:
Protecting elephants and their habitat.
Reducing human-elephant conflict.
Building capacity in range states.
Conducting research on elephants to help inform conservation strategies.
Promoting elephant-friendly policies.
Monitoring elephant numbers, population trends, and threats to elephants and their habitat.
WCS sites and landscapes cover 28% of the African forest elephant population.
WCS sites and landscapes cover 14% of the African savannah elephant population.
On Our Strategies
Protect Elephants and Their Habitat
We support rangers and help government agencies better manage rangers' patrols using SMART (the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool). In addition, WCS helps protect elephants at key sites through the use of intelligence networks and aerial surveillance.
Build Capacity in Range States
WCS has helped or is currently helping develop and implement National Elephant Action Plans and Strategies with a number of countries, including Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, and Uganda.
WCS works in 15 of the 37 African elephant range states.
Monitor Elephant Numbers
For African savannah elephants, WCS is a key partner in the Great Elephant Census, a Paul G. Allen Project, leading the counts in 11 countries, including Mozambique, Uganda, and South Sudan.
WASHINGTON (September 21, 2016) – WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) applauded the U.S. Congress's passage of the Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act today. The bill now moves on to the White House for the president’s...
Honolulu, HI (Sept. 10, 2016) - WCS President and CEO Cristian Samper today celebrated the passage of IUCN Motion 007 at the World Conservation Congress. “Today’s vote calling for closure of domestic elephant ivory markets across the globe is...
August 24, 2016 – Two dogs trained to detect ivory by scent recently made their first bust by helping government authorities seize four elephant tusks in a village outside Tanzania’s Ruaha National Park, according to WCS (Wildlife Conservation...