World Elephant Day 2017 🐘
Loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet these majestic creatures carry much controversy, facing a slew of threats to their survival and changing conservation issues.
Six years ago, August 12th - was launch as World Elephant Day, a focused day to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. Coincidentally it is also International #YouthDay, the perfect opportunity for Y4WC to partner with the organizers of WED to showcase engaged and passionate youth working to protect and conserve elephants over the world, share their opinions and open discussions on how we can all #BeElephantEthical.
Knowledge Vingi is studying elephant dung in Zimbabwe. Vital to the ecosystem, it provides food and habitat for many insects, mammals and even amphibians. As important seed dispersers, forest elephants in particular help maintain plant biodiversity.
Alfred Ole Mepukori monitors elephants in the Naimina Enkiyio forest in Loita, Kenya, an indigenous forest owned by his community. He collects data on their sightings and mortalities to understand the level of poaching.
He wrote a piece about his community, his life growing up next to the Naimina Enkiyio Forest and the incredible and vital work he is doing that you can read here: Voices for Biodiversity
'At nine years of age, I was allowed to look after the older calves after school and was allowed, on occasion, to accompany my brother, Kirotie, to the forest to tend our herds. In those days, there were many threats to our cattle, such as hyenas, leopards and, of course, lions – unlike today when meeting a lion in Naimina Enkiyio is like finding gold! One day, I went to herd our older calves at a place called Embwakitu, when suddenly I found myself standing in the middle of about 20 elephants. Indeed, it was a day to remember!
Art For Conservation
Sofiya Shukhova is a Russian-native Singapore-based young wildlife artist.
Sofiya uses her artistic skills to show the beauty and importance of the natural world. Through her art projects she engages the public’s attention, and sparks the discussion on issues surrounding the extinction of iconic wildlife species, including elephants.
Did you know the island of Borneo has elephants? If not, Shavez Cheema can tell you all about them. Shavez runs educational wildlife workshops to local people on Borneo to promote elephant conservation.
He is also working on a research project to survey elephants and he hopes this work will give him and his team more insight into the elephant’s behaviour.
The Omo Forest in Nigeria is one of the last refuges for the secretive forest elephant, but their habitat is under threat from logging, farming and poaching. Young filmmaker Chris Guggiari-Peel with his team at Farsight Conservation made this film looking at the issues impacting the forest elephants in Nigeria and met with the people trying to save them.