Elephant Project
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Elephant Partners- Maasai Mara

In early 2011 ElephantVoices launched “Elephant Partners”, an elephant conservation project based in the Maasai Mara ecosystem. The goal of Elephant Partners is to develop a working model for citizens to monitor and protect elephants. The first half of 2011 will be a pilot period – while we continue to prepare and fundraise for the main phase of the project which will start later in the year.

The concept, put simply, is to connect individual people – guides, scouts, rangers, researchers, photographers, tourists, people of the Maasai Mara and all people who care – with the lives of individual elephants. Through use of the Internet and social and educational media our intention is to develop a community of people sharing their knowledge about the Mara elephants and working together to protect them. Harambee is a Kiswahili word meaning working together for a common purpose. It is our belief that this harambee spirit can engender the understanding, compassion, enthusiasm and collective custodianship needed for people and elephants to co-exist in a mutually beneficial way. We hope that it will also help to focus attention on, and bolster the important work of, the newly formed conservancies, since the future of elephants and other landscape species depends upon their commercial success.

We are building an online searchable database to store elephant identification photographs – so that people (Maasai Mara residents, visitors and friends worldwide) can get to know elephants by name. And we will be preparing an online database and blog where Mara friends can upload observations, photos and comments on Mara elephants (their behavior, movements, interactions, conflicts, threats, etc.) to share with other participants, the authorities and the general public. Through the use of mobile phones we will be developing an efficient way for people to collect and upload observations.

The project aims to build a community of people sharing their knowledge about the elephants of the Maasai Mara ecosystem and working together to monitor and protect them. Mara Naibosho Conservancy is one of the most important refuges for the Mara elephants. You will be responsible for taking ID photos of elephants, getting to know them, and collecting observations on the location, size and composition of elephant groups on Naibosho and sorrounding areas. Through your work you will help to build up knowledge of the Maraelephants and contribute to their conservation.

Project Costs Volunteering in 2012

2 Week placement: £ 1035 / US$ 1860 / EUR 1345
4 Week placement: £ 1685 / US$ 3025 / EUR 2185
6 Week placement: £ 2275 / US$ 4095 / EUR 2960

For more information go to ElephantVoices – Maasai Mara

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