Massive Loss of Elephants in the Mara Serengeti Ecosystem concerns Conservationists

Elephant with infant

An aerial report released yesterday in Arusha has revealed a worrying number of elephant carcasses in the world famous Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. A total of 192 elephant carcasses were counted, of which 117 were in Kenya and 75 in Tanzania. More shocking is that of all the carcasses found in Kenya, 84% were outside of the Masai Mara National Reserve, and each had its tusks missing.

These statistics have alarmed the conservation fraternity in Kenya and Tanzania who are calling upon the two governments to strengthen their elephant management strategies as well as deploy technology in the fight against poaching. Furthermore, the conservationists are calling for better management of elephants outside protected areas through strengthened community conservancies.
The two governments are keen to work with conservationists to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing endangered species that include not only the elephant but also the rhino.

WWF are working with governments in seeking solutions to the current poaching menace by acquiring anti-poaching equipment and technology, engaging communities and private sector in anti-poaching campaigns, carrying out elephant censuses, working with communities to reduce human wildlife conflict, securing elephant range outside protected areas, monitoring threats and developing national and sub-regional databases for use in managing elephant and rhino populations. WWF has identified Mau-Mara-Serengeti landscape as a priority landscape and has focused its funding to the conservation of this landscape. 
The Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism – Tanzania, released the wet season Serengeti-Mara aerial census report yesterday. During the release, the Minister called for close collaboration between the two countries in combating poaching and illegal wildlife trade in the region.
This Aerial Report indicated that a total of 7,535 elephants and 61,896 buffaloes were counted in the survey area. The general results for this census show an increasing trend of elephants and buffaloes in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem where the number of elephants counted shows an increasing trend from 2,058 in 1986 to 7,535 individuals in 2014. There was also an increase in buffalo population in the area, from 54,979 (in 1986) to 61,896 individuals (in 2014).
This therefore shows that despite the threat of poaching the population of elephants is increasing and this can be attributed to the efforts of wildlife authorities in recent years.

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A roadshow of Amazon adventures

Discovery trail jaguar and fox

Towards the end of the month and early September Sky Rainforest Rescue is bringing special events to you and your family across six Discovery Trail sites in the UK.

Between 23 August and 7 September, you can wander through local woodland, whilst learning more about the Amazon and enter a competition to be in with a chance of winning a free jaguar adoption pack for a year.

Simply spot the jaguar along the trail, take a photo with the jaguar on your phone and upload it to Sky Rainforest Rescue’s Facebook or Twitter feed.

Kids will receive a free explorer’s pack with activities to fill in and at the end of the trail, they can have their faces painted as their favourite Amazonian animal.

Here are the dates of the events at a discovery trail nearest to you.

Happy trailing!

In the red for the rest of 2014: today we exceed nature’s budget

Footprint calculation graph

Humanity has exhausted its annual ecological budget in less than eight months, according to data from Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability think tank and WWF partner.

For the rest of 2014, we are “in the red” – effectively overdrawn on the balance sheet of nature’s goods and services that we require to survive.

Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s footprint in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate. The date is moving progressively earlier from 1 October in 2000 to 19 August this year.
“Nature is the foundation of our well-being and our prosperity, but we are using up far too much of the Earth's finite resources,” said Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International. “For a healthy and bright future for our children, we must preserve the natural capital that is left – and be better stewards of this one precious planet we call home,”

Based on ecological footprint data – measuring the quantity of Earth’s natural resources, how much we use, and who uses what – Earth Overshoot Day is an opportunity to raise awareness and inspire action around our ecological overspending.

Next month, WWF will release the Living Planet Report 2014, the tenth edition of WWF's biennial flagship publication. The report measures the health of our planet and the impact of human activity.

“While trends clearly show that humanity's demands exceed our planet's capacity to sustain us, we can still take bold action now and build a prosperous future based on sustainable resource use,” said Lambertini.
In 1961, the year WWF was established, humanity used only two-thirds of the Earth’s available natural resources. In that same year, most countries had ecological reserves – meaning our footprint was lighter and more sustainable. Current rates have us operating way outside that window of sustainability.

Forests are shrinking, freshwater resources are dwindling, land is degrading, and biological diversity is being depleted. At the same time, the continued reliance on fossil fuels creates harmful carbon dioxide emissions that the planet simply cannot absorb.

By taking action now we can reverse the trend. We each play an important role in creating a world where we all live within our ecological limits.

Choosing sustainable goods like seafood labelled with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo, and wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) helps ensure products come from well-managed sources. Switching to clean, renewable, abundant energy sources like sun and wind will reduce dirty emissions that pollute our air and strain our oceans and forests.

Want to know what your environmetal impact is? Take our footprint calculator.