The Laikipia/Samburu Ecosystem
The Laikipia Ecosystem represents the most important elephant range in Kenya outside of government protected areas. An estimated 6,365 elephants roam across this spectacular 40,000 km2 unfenced ecosystem, among a mosaic of different forms of human land-use including smallholder farming, forest reserves, private ranches, national game reserves and community owned wildlife conservancies.
This landscape is the heart of East Africa’s conservancy movement-where private and community landowners are increasingly committing their land to conservation. However the illegal killing of elephants for their ivory has undermined conservation efforts here, with 2011 and 2012 some of the worst years in living memory for wildlife poaching. This combined with land use change is greatly threatening the future of this critically important elephant population.
Space for Giants and our partners have been leading efforts to combat these threats, helping to resource, train and coordinate anti-poaching teams, support farmers to protect their crops from crop-raiding elephants and secure new wildlife conservancies. While these efforts have led to significant gains in terms of reductions in poaching, maintaining this effort requires your help.
This is the first elephant population that will be available for sponsorship.
- Elephant Population
- Percent Adopted
There are approximately 400,000 African elephants left on the continent occupying a wide diversity of habitats that collectively encompass a total area of 3.3 million km2, across 37 states. There are two sub-species, the African bush elephant, Loxodonta Africana and the African forest elephant, Loxodonta cyclotis. One hundred thousand elephants have been killed in the last three years alone. The scale of decline is a consequence of a large and growing market for ivory in Asia, combined with unprecedented natural resource extraction, opening up Africa’s last intact natural ecosystems. Not only are elephants being hunted into extinction but their last refuges are disappearing too. Unless urgent action is taken, elephants will disappear from much of their range within the next ten years and with them, the last of Africa’s wild places and the rich tapestry of life they contain.
Our conservation target is to effectively conserve at least 10% of the remaining elephants and the landscapes they depend on by 2020. We aim to achieve this target by investing in the protection and management of priority elephant populations in East, Central, South and West Africa. We have prioritised elephant landscapes for conservation investment on the basis of:
- The size of the elephant populations they hold;
- The extent of elephant range available and;
- their broader biodiversity value.
We then make a decision as to which of these priority landscapes to invest in on the basis of our chances of achieving conservation success and the scale of the additional conservation benefits that our conservation investment will generate.
We are currently in the process of developing frontline protection projects for these identified priority elephant populations, in close collaboration with African governments and our credible partners on the ground. When these projects are ready to start, the elephant populations they aim to protect will become available to adopt online, by the public, so that everyone has an opportunity to participate in saving the species, one elephant, one population, at a time. However we will only put a population up for adoption, once all the elephants in the previous population have been adopted and protected. The first population available to adopt is in the Laikipia/Samburu landscape.