Mali Elephant Project

Mali Elephant Project

Project Animal(s) : Elephants
Project Category : Mammals
Project Region : Africa
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : No

Established in 2003, the Mali Elephant Project (MEP) protects a unique population of 550 sub-desert elephants. These animals survive in the arid landscape by making the largest annual elephant migration in Africa. But human activity is increasingly impeding this migration and degrading the habitat, and incidences of conflict are escalating. The area also suffers from severe political insecurity and overstretched law enforcement, making the elephants especially vulnerable to poaching. In January 2017 it was estimated that if poaching was not reduced the entire population could be wiped out by 2021.

MEP is a community-centered conservation that benefits both elephants and people.Since 2007 the Mali Elephant Project (MEP) has built on this to help protect the endangered animals through empowering local communities in creating systems to protect nature and keep the elephants safe. This has provided multiple benefits. For example, in declaring pasture reserves and protected forests, building fire-breaks and preventing abusive tree-cutting, young men decide to work as eco-guardians instead of taking up arms and women can choose to build micro-enterprises such as selling hay and forest products. Benefits for local people go alongside those for the elephants creating a basis for true sustainability

Immediate, effective action is essential to protect this fragile elephant population. MEP’s work must continue to keep them safe.

Project Agency : WILD Foundation

Project Agency Contact :

Project Researcher : Dr. Susan Canney

Project Researcher Contact :

Additional Information :

Tusk funding has supported the community-based resource management work and helped to train and mobilise the anti-poaching unit, which can act on information provided by the project’s community information networks. The 12-man team deals with poaching situations and supports the community patrols which oversee natural resource management and protect the migration route of the elephants.