PROTECTING THE PACHYDERMS
In 2021, Mara Elephant Project (MEP) celebrated a decade of protecting elephants and their habitats across the Greater Mara Ecosystem. While poaching emerged as the number one threat to elephants when MEP began, now, the expansion of the human footprint resulting in increased conflict and habitat is the crisis the Mara faces. To combat this, MEP focuses on the four pillars of protection: elephants, habitats, communities and connectivity with the vision of seeing a stable elephant population co-existing peacefully with people across the Mara.
In 2022, MEP’s community rangers and researchers, alongside government partners, continued to increase protection for the four key pillars. This included arrests, confiscation of ivory and bushmeat and the removal of snares, to name a few. A total of 114 conflict incidents were mitigated, while a kitchen garden has been planted for the testing of 35 crops for predation at the MEP Co-Existence Farm. MEP has also launched Ecoscope, a bespoke technology to analyse conservation data and create outputs that can be turned into action, which has been made open source for other conservation organisation’s utilisation.