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We need to act now

Worldwide, elephants are struggling for survival. People intrude on their habitat; their food, water and migration routes disappear. To survive, elephants are forced to search for food and water outside of protected areas, resulting in conflicts between elephants and people.

For the future of elephants!

Elephants are a keystone species in the ecosystems they are part of. Elephants disperse seeds, maintain grasslands and find water, all crucial for the survival of other species.

The mission of Bring The Elephant Home is to create a world where people and elephants can thrive by promoting social-ecological resilience and conservation action that respects and incorporates the knowledge and values of local people.

We need your help

We always welcome volunteers, donors and sponsors for our projects. Please consider participating in one of our initiatives or supporting our mission by making a donation. You can follow the latest news here.

Meet the team

Bring The Elephant Home is active on three continents. There is a lot of work to do for our various projects around the world, and we help to realise our ambitious plans is always welcome! More info: [email protected]. Meet the team!

Latest news

Alternative Crops Pilot Study

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First Year Completion of Elephant Behavioral Studies in Kuiburi National Park

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Vacancy: Education and Outreach Administrator

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  • The best way to end a busy day of research planning and conservation technology testing is out in the wild observing elephants where they belong! This is what it’s all about: let’s join together to create a world where elephants can thrive! 📷 by Alisa @1b28l 

#bringtheelephanthome #wildelephants #asianelephants #asiansafari #wildlifeobservation
  • You've heard the phrase "an elephant never forgets"... Well, they have extraordinary memory - including the largest brain size of land mammals - and here's the proof:
Zoologists and researchers recently commented on the importance of a healthy memory in relation to the survivorship of a herd. They can tell friend, family or foe by smells and sounds, find the same water holes and more. Migration routes and droughts are a great example because overall, this emphasizes the need for an older female matriarch (leader of the herd) because of historical routes taken to find water.
A study showed a young matriarch's herd had a calf mortality rate of 63% compared to herds with older matriarchs at 2%. Memory of migration and drought survival routes undoubtedly leads directly to long-term memory.
Consuming around 330kg (150lb.) of food per day plays a role in migration between seasons, demanding the knowledge and recollection of thoroughly selected routes for reliable resources through generations.
Threats don't only include predators. A study done in 2014 shows voices of human threats can be identified by elephants. Conservation efforts can be maximized knowing that poachers target the elephant with the biggest tusks, usually the matriarch, leaving a younger herd member in charge.
Read more on an elephant's memory and these studies in the article "Do elephants really 'never forget'? in our bio.
 
#wildlifeconservation #elephants #elephantfacts #wildlifescience #elephantconservation
  • 📷 With many thanks to @wildlifeprotectionsolutions, we deployed our first solar powered smart camera traps! After a busy day of training and testing, the first elephant was captured on camera and automatically uploaded to the wpsWatch platform. As part of @t.nucks  PhD research, 50 cameras will be used to gain insight into elephant foraging and movement in and around fields with alternative crops. 
📷 by @phum.ps 

#elephantresearch #elephantconservation #cameratrapping #wildlifeprotction
  • An international team of researchers calculated that if the African forest elephant would become extinct in the rainforest of central and west Africa, these rainforests would lose between 6 and 9% of their ability to capture carbon from the atmosphere.
 
Elephants can for instance do so by their preference for foraging on the more palatable and nutritious low-carbon density trees. These trees can grow quickly and would – when no elephants would be present – rise above other plants and trees to reach the sunlight. By foraging on these trees, the elephants help reduce competition over light, space and soil nutrients, and allow trees that grow more slowly to flourish. These slow-growing trees are mostly high-carbon trees, meaning that they can store more carbon than the fast-growing trees.
Elephants do forage on the fruits that these high-carbon density trees and other large trees produce, but therewith they mostly benefit the tree by dispersing their seeds. 

However, due to poaching and insufficient conservation, African forest elephants have declined over 80% in the last 30 years. Protecting elephants is not only important for biodiversity, but this research shows that their conservation is also important for climate change mitigation.

The researchers, reporting in PNAS, indicate that since they have now shown that leaves from low carbon density trees are less palatable to herbivores, they hope to conduct further research on other herbivore species to find out whether those could also contribute to carbon storage. 

#cerbonstorage #carbon #climatechange #climatemitigation #forestelephant #foraging #trees #science #research #sciencesaturday
Barzaghi, F., Bretagnolle, F., Durand-Bessart, C. & Blake, S. (2023). Megaherbivores modify forest structure and increase carbon stocks through multiple pathways. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2201832120
  • BTEH PhD researcher Tyler Nuckols has just moved to Ruam Thai village to study human-elephant interaction trough a social-ecological approach. In 2022, Tyler has conducted interviews and hosted focus group discussions with key informants around Kuiburi National Park. The coming months, 50 camera traps will be installed to study and measure elephant behaviour in human dominated landscapes and assess the impact of our Tom Yum project. Read the infographic about Tyler’s study here and follow us on Facebook to read regular updates. We can’t wait to see what the next year brings. 

#kuiburinationalpark #ruamthai #localthailand #elephantresearch #tomyumproject #humanelephantcoexistence
  • Plastic is, unfortunately, not only often found inside human settlements, but also outside of it, polluting the environment. Research has shown that plastic is now found nearly everywhere: in mountains, rivers, forests, the deep sea, and also inside wildlife- such as elephants.

Katlam and colleagues (2022) quantified plastic particles, among other anthropogenic waste, from elephant dung samples that they collected in forested habitat of Uttarakhand state, India. 
Anthropogenic waste was present in over a third of the dung samples (32%) and consisted mostly of plastic particles (85%) as well as glass, metal, rubber bands, clay pottery, and tile pieces. In their study, the researchers compared samples from inside the forest with those at the edge, and perhaps strangely enough - they found more than twice as many plastic particles in forest samples as compared to those taken from the forest edge. The authors suggest this might simply be because elephants move large distances over a day, and there is a retention time before elephants dispose of dung after consumption – the elephants are likely to be back inside the forest by that time. These findings do show that other animals inside the forest therefore have a higher chance of ingesting anthropogenic waste that elephants take along from for instance garbage dump sites at the edge – with waste traveling down the food chain. 

These results highlight the need for proper waste management. Elephants that for instance visit garbage dumps just outside the forest do not only expose themselves to the detrimental effects of such waste, but they bring these particles further down the food chain as well. 

#asianelephant #plastic #humanwaste #plasticwaste #pollution #anthropocene #garbagedump #foodchain #ecology #science #research

Katlam, G., Prasad, S., Pande, A. & Ramchiary, N. (2022). Plastic ingestion in Asian elephants in the forested landscapes of Uttarakhand, India. Journal for Nature Conservation, 68:126196.