As we navigate our lives through the chaos caused by the COVID Pandemic, it is easy to forget about the plight of our deteriorating environment and more specifically animals without a voice fighting against extinction.
The largest of them all, The Majestic Elephant needs our help
The Asian elephant populations can be found in 13 countries across South and Southeast Asia, sadly their numbers are fast declining with an estimated 30,000 – 50,000 left in the wild. Both the Sumatran and Borneo elephants are heading towards extinction with less than 1,500 remaining. Elephants have large home ranges and with the unprecedented rate at which the rainforest is disappearing due to drought, forest fires, illegal logging and growing human populations, their future is bleak if we do not take immediate action.
Elephant migration plays a vital role in balancing out the natural ecosystem, they travel over vast areas of land in search of enough vegetation and water sources to meet their needs. Feeding on a variety of plants, they disperse seeds in their dung which help generate new growth ensuring their ecosystem constantly replenishes and evolves. Elephant herd sizes consist of 20 or more predominantly female elephants with the matriarch being the eldest female. Known for their intelligence and empathy, elephant herds have an intricate social structure. The males tend to leave the herd at adolescence and many lead fairly solitary lives, though some come together in bachelor pods.
The decimation of their habitat to pave the way for unsustainable agriculture, plantations, mining, human settlements and infrastructure is not only compromising their food sources, herd and migration routes, but is also placing the future of this migratory species at risk by creating human-elephant conflict as they compete for the same resources.
Sadly 70% of the time, elephants venture into unprotected areas, they are often found travelling through human-dominated areas resulting in the damage of crops, property and even human injury and death. The outcome of such incidents is retaliation, often by poison, thus threatening their species even more.
As well as poaching elephants for their ivory, skin and meat, their population is also threatened by snares placed in the forest areas they cross. Such traps are set by villagers to catch wild pigs or deer; however, elephants are becoming casualties, often dying from infected wounds. In addition to these unfortunate facts, many elephants are still being exploited and experience lives of hardship in captivity due to unregulated tourism practices throughout Asia.
Family plays a vital role in herd behaviour and when one of these gentle giants is affected by man, it disrupts their social structure leaving them even more vulnerable.
The International Elephant Project (IEP) is a not-for-profit project for elephant conservation, rainforest protection and local community partnerships. In order to protect and save the entire ecosystem and biodiversity of habitats shared by elephants, the IEP was formed to conserve the elephants’ entire ecosystem in a holistic manner which has a positive knock-on effect on many other species fighting for their lives.
The mission of the IEP is to ensure the survival of all elephant species in their natural habitat by undertaking genuine, measurable and effective elephant conservation.
Their vision is simple: That all elephants live in the wild in secure and viable populations. But is it really that simple?
The Wildlife Ambulance Team tending to baby elephants
The BKSDA Jambi Wildlife Ambulance Team, supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), providing essential medical care to clean an infected wound
The Rewards4Earth™ Endangered Species Preservation Mandate is supporting The International Elephant Project (IEP) and together we are determined to help protect and restore the fast declining populations of the giant elephants of Asia.
In July 2021, The Rewards4Earth Foundation donated to the IEP. We are impressed with the level of commitment that the IEP shows by ensuring our contributions work as hard as possible. By scaling back their operational costs, more money is spent where needed – protecting elephant populations and their environment.
We will continue to support the IEP and need your help.
We do not ask for your donations, all we ask is that you sign up and collect Erth™Loyalty Rewards Points.
Rewilded elephants safe at last
Receiving much needed medical attention from The Wildlife Ambulance Team
- The IEP run an Elephant Adoption program to monitor and protect elephants in the Bukit Tigapuluh Ecosystem in Sumatra and the Nam Pouy National Protected Area in Laos. This is a great initiative where you can see first-hand how your contributions are helping the save the elephants one elephant at a time.
- The IEP has been supporting the Elephant Conservation Centre in Laos which includes the only elephant hospital in the area. This initiative also sources and protects substantial amounts of land which allows for socialisation and natural breeding. Donations are used to fund ranger teams who patrol and protect this 190,000-hectare ecosystem which houses both wild and rewilded Laos elephants. Sadly, the COVID-19 Pandemic has severely disrupted the funds that they rely on from ethical eco-tourism resulting in vital elephant populations being at further risk from poaching and habitat destruction.
- With poaching and deforestation on the rise and declining fundraising donations, the Wildlife Ambulance teams are on the verge of scaling back their efforts or worse becoming extinct themselves. Their teams on the ground consist of vets, who not only provide life-saving assistance to injured and displaced elephants in Sumatra but who also work tirelessly to train the next generation of vets. They are in desperate need of $50,000 by the end of this year to be able to continue their vital work.