Our Mission

Why you should support us:

Mount Elgon is world-renown for its “cave-elephants”, a population of forest-dwelling Savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana), showing some very specific characteristics:
The elephants use to walk into deep, dark caves for breaking salty rocks out of the cave walls. This culture of underground mining is worldwide unique and the mostly presumed cause is the compensation of mineral deficits in their herbal diet.
The salty cave rocks probably provide the only access to essential minerals on the mountain and with his tusks, the elephant is the only animal having a suitable tool for breaking these rocks. Hence, their presence may be essential for all the other herbivores in the isolated ecosystem.

Sadly, Elgon’s population was heavily hit by ivory poaching in the 1970s and 80s which reduced the animals from estimated 1.200 to 100-160 individuals. Today, their future looks promising but also challenging:
The establishment of one large trans-boundary managed protected area will allow the recovery of the population, as long as the recent ivory poaching wave will not reach Mount Elgon again. As a precondition for this, new elephant management skills and sustainable strategies for mitigating human-elephant-conflicts need to be developed and implemented across the trans-boundary habitat.

 

At this point, the Mount Elgon Cave Elephant Project is stepping in:

The gain of basic data about the elephants, scientific assistance in completing a census by use of modern research tools and the development of a sustainable database as well as increasing knowledge about basic ecosystem functions will allow to develop reasonable management plans for the transnational migrating elephant herds for the future. Furthermore, the precise knowledge about movements, genetic variation and demographic trends will make this population a model for heavily poached populations in other places.