Dramatic declineof the gray giants
The African elephant is the world’s largest living land mammal. The large pachyderms are distinctive in the African landscape and their size alone means they have no natural enemies. However, in many African countries where they were once native, they have been wiped out over the years. In the last 100 years, a decline of more than 95 percent (from 10 million to currently about 450,000) has been recorded! In addition to being hunted for their ivory, elephants are being doomed primarily by a lack of migration routes between wildlife areas.
“Poaching and dwindling habitat pose a major threat to elephants. Together with the affected village communities, we elaborate solutions to the conflict with the pachyderms.”
Lars Gorschlüter, Foundation Founder
Elephants - "service providers" for nature
Elephants are important “service providers” for nature. Along with termites and fire, they are also responsible for the vegetation of the savannahs. Their feeding behaviour contributes to the rejuvenation and increase of vegetation, but only if plants can come to rest in between. But where elephants once had plenty of escape routes, they are now often forced to return to these areas after only a short time due to their loss of alternative habitat.
In search of water
The lack of watering holes along wildlife migration corridors in national parks has become a particular problem. Elephants drink up to 150 litres of water a day and depend on finding sufficient drinking opportunities during their migration. However, as watering holes have dried up, they penetrate into local village communities in search of water. There they destroy harvests on the agriculturally used areas and endanger the people living there. The latter understandably want to protect themselves as well as their fields and thus distress the already threatened elephants even more.
Preservation of wildlife migration corridors
In the north-east of Botwana, SAVE works to create, maintain, and reconstruct wildlife corridors so that elephants can safely migrate to their feeding grounds, find sufficient water along their routes, and reduce conflict with people in nearby villages in the process. Constructive cooperation with all stakeholders in the communities is an important prerequisite for good solutions. The revival of a long-standing wildlife corridor between the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pan proves that that can succeed.
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Magkadigkadi Pan Wildlife Corridor
To revive the long-existing wildlife corridor in northern Botswana between the Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Pan, SAVE Botswana Headquarters Maun teamed up with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. The plan is to equip and re-commission man-made water points that have been dormant for 10 years. The first watering hole re-established an 80-km wildlife corridor in the summer of 2020, allowing wildlife to access the adjacent national park. Work included cleaning, re-casing, covering the wellhead, replacing 1,000 meters of pipeline between the well and the watering hole, registering the well, installing a new solar-powered well-head high-capacity pump, and a solar-powered electric fence to protect equipment around the well.
This could be your contribution
Mr. Kebadiretse Mosepele, DWNP staff in Maun, was exuberant in his thanks for the rehabilitation of the watering hole: “It came just at the right time!” he said. “… Not only does it help the animals, but it can also generate revenue as a tourist attraction. Since the water started flowing again, not only elephants but also giraffes, lions and other wild animals drink there …”
These are good prospects: in order to repair the entire wildlife corridor, more water points will now be equipped and kilometer by kilometer will be made usable again for the elephants and other wildlife. We appreciate your support!