Elephants responses to the return of hunting

by Elephants for Africa
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Elephants responses to the return of hunting
Dec 30, 2020

The long journey to understand elephant behaviour

Elephant greeting
Elephant greeting

When faced with a problem, we are all looking for quick and easy solution which ideally should have long-lasting effects. And sometimes we are lucky: As scientists we are impressed how quickly the new vaccines against Covid-19 have been developed. Thanks to large sums of money and a multitude of people working to solve the problem, we are hopefully soon going to be able to return to our normal lives.

However, to develop scientifically sound solutions for the conservation of long-lived species, we are often faced with long-term studies which span over years or decades. To understand the impact of different environmental variables, we first need to establish the baseline data. In our case, this means establishing the average response of elephants to the presence of humans. Therefore, we conduct weekly research drives and for each elephant we encounter, we note its behaviour upon our approach ranking from no response to flight or attack. As individual elephants vary quite substantially in their behaviour and their response may vary slightly from one week to the next depending on their experiences shortly before our encounter, we need a fairly large amount of data.

Once the baseline data have been collected, we need to understand how much variation can be explained by intrinsic and extrinsic factors which are unrelated to the problem we are investigating (here the resumption of hunting). We now have over 6 months of data on elephant behaviour and should soon be able to statistically model the impact of an elephant’s characteristics such as age or body condition (intrinsic) and environmental factors such as group size or distance to the car (extrinsic) on their behavioural response. Comparisons with these baseline data, collected over the past months, will enable us in the future to assess any changes in the elephants behaviour with the resumption of tourism and especially hunting.

We are very grateful to all our donors on GlobalGiving as well as the Elephant Management Association who supports this project with 1000US$. Without your continuous support, the continuation of this project would not be possible. And while we all wish for imminent solutions, we sometimes need to be persistent and approach a problem on a long term basis to understand how best potential issues can be addressed.

The next year is right at our doorstep and we feel inspired by the general mood of invigoration. After the helpless feeling of being stuck in the middle of a global pandemic, everyone seems to be ready to tackle some of the local issues, like human-elephant conflict, which they can address with some outside help. Let’s continue to work together to help elephants and people thrive in Botswana’s pristine wilderness areas.

Happy New Year 2021!

The EfA Team


'Living with Elephants' workshop
'Living with Elephants' workshop
Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Elephants for Africa

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @E4Africa
Project Leader:
Kate Evans
London, United Kingdom
$3,831 raised of $6,750 goal
94 donations
$2,919 to go
Donate Now
Donating through GlobalGiving is safe, secure, and easy with many payment options to choose from. View other ways to donate

Elephants for Africa has earned this recognition on GlobalGiving:

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.