SCIF Helps Mozambique Communities with Elephant Conservation

Due to a generous bequest that was received by the SCI Foundation (SCIF), a partnership has been formed with the Mozambique Wildlife Alliance. This is landscape-level conservation of critical elephant habitat in Southern Mozambique, including on-the-ground mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. The partnership provides for critical funding to train local communities and individuals on how to implement deterrence methods for elephants causing conflict with agricultural crops and provides for a rapid response to deter invading elephants from damaging individual and community property.

A project this size requires local buy-in and commitment to conserving the elephant population. The wildlife management tools being implemented include deterrence mitigation actions, small scale fence building and radio-collar capture and tracking of elephants. This is also being supported by training local people in their communities to assist in applying a variety of these methods.

In the latest reporting period, the partnership responded to 73 wildlife complaints involving various species. Elephants were by far the leading cause of conflict, as 52 (71%) of 73 active complaints resulted in deterrence management actions for elephants. Thankfully, 78% of the cases were resolved in a positive manner, thanks in part to our partnership support.

One of the cornerstones of this positive deterrence is the implementation of Rapid Response Units (RRU), which consist of individuals recently trained on how to assist and alleviate problems caused by depredating elephants. With the creation of the RRU, real on-the-ground success is being realized. This period also featured 139 person-days of conservation work in the communities on the project. One notable accomplishment was the construction of a 13 hectare (approximately 32 acres) electric fence in Namaacha District, which tremendously helps with food security for the Debinduana area.

This partnership with Mozambique Wildlife Alliance is creating a huge positive impact for the communities while ensuring landscape scale conservation is being carried out for the Mozambique elephant population. The partnership is a prime example of SCIF implementing large international projects that help to ensure the future of wildlife through conservation, education and hunting.

Photo: Elephant herd being monitored by helicopter – courtesy of Mozambique Wildlife Alliance