Credits: Brent Stirton/Julia Gunther
We award grants and work with direct-action wildlife conservation organisations, primarily in Africa, but we have recently expanded our reach globally.
Our two key focus areas are elephant conservation in Africa and championing female wildlife rangers worldwide.
Credit: Amish Chhagan
Mara Elephant Project (MEP) was established in 2011 with the mission of protecting elephants to conserve the Greater Mara Ecosystem - Kenya’s most important wildlife area and tourism asset. MEP concentrates on the protection of elephants outside of conservancies, and by doing so they help protect not only wildlife, but also communities and habitats in the Maasai Mara. Their approach is to monitor, evaluate and protect elephants in collaboration with key partners in the region. MEP rangers are formally trained officers, and they are often the only local law enforcement presence for hundreds of miles.
Credit: Big Life
Big Life employs hundreds of local Maasai rangers to protect the Greater Amboseli ecosystem. Their rangers are expertly trained and well-equipped, working around-the-clock to protect and secure some of the world’s most iconic species and their habitats. With increasing human populations, the future for conservation will be determined by working closely with and supporting local communities. This is the heart of Big Life’s ethos: if conservation supports the local community, then the local community will support conservation. Big Life’s rangers conduct daily patrols on foot and by vehicle to gather intelligence, detect and intercept illegal activity, monitor activity via hidden field cameras, and use the latest night-vision and GPS technology to thwart poachers and prevent habitat destruction
Credit: Unbound Project
Ulinzi Africa Foundation (UAF) is East Africa's first non-profit that focuses on ranger welfare and remote areas. Founded by Raabia Hawa, they currently focus on the preservation of the Tana Delta ecosystem, a certified UNESCO - RAMSAR site, and a Key Biodiversity Area, which hosts elephant ‘maternity wards’ and ‘retirement forests’ where the elephants seek shelter and vital nutrient rich flora only found in this area. Their vision is to transform the Tana Delta from a poaching hotspot into a safe living ecosphere for people and wildlife. UAF employ a team of 12 rangers. To date, they have made several arrests and successful recoveries of weapons however are finding that their security is under increasing threat.
Akashinga is a community-driven conservation model, empowering disadvantaged women to restore and manage a network of wilderness areas as an alternative economic model to trophy hunting in key ecosystems and ecoregions. In 2021, they ran a total of 208 operations in the areas we protect and deploy patrol missions. As a result of successfully executing these operations, they were able to contribute to a total of 351 arrests, confiscate 11 illegal weapons from poachers, destroy 341km of illegal monofilament fishing net found along the Zambezi Valley and impound 99 boats.
National Park Rescue (NPR) saves African National Parks on the brink of collapse using direct-action operations to restore effective law enforcement, shut down corruption and reconnect the surrounding communities key to a park's long term survival. NPR are proud to be part of the movement to recruit and employ female rangers and promote equal employment opportunities within the conservation sector. Each of these brave women has given up a ‘regular’ life in their villages to do something extraordinary: protect their natural heritage. By doing so, not only are they protecting nature and providing for their families, but they are setting a marvellous example to other young women across the continent.
The work of Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust is multifaceted; They rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife harmed by people. They study wildlife to find scientific solutions for long term conservation. They use scientific and veterinary techniques to tackle wildlife management problems and they find sustainable solutions for communities and wildlife to co-exist. They believe that in order to manage human/wildlife conflict and preserve wildlife at this interface, they need the support of the rural communities, and they in turn, need to see a benefit to having wildlife and protecting it.
Credit: Ilan Godfrey
The Black Mambas are Africa's first all-female anti-poaching unit, founded in 2013, with the purpose of protecting wildlife in South Africa, mainly in the regions of the Balule Nature Reserve and the Greater Kruger National Park. To shine a light on the impact The Black Mambas are making; Since 2013, more than 1500 deadly snares have been dismantled and seized, and record numbers of poachers' camps destroyed. As a result, the number of snaring and poaching incidents in Balule Nature Reserve, where the Black Mambas operate, has fallen by 76%.
Credit: Purnima Devi Barman
Purnima Devi Barman, founder of the Hargila Army, is changing people’s perceptions of the Greater Adjutant Stork. Often referred to as a disease-carrying pest, an ugly, filthy bird or a bad omen, Purnima and her Hargila Army have helped turn this bird into a cultural icon in Assam. Purnima built the Hargila Army from small beginnings, now a team of over 10,000 women working together to protect the critically endangered Greater Adjutant Stork. They keep a strict vigil on the nests as habitat loss, poaching and poisoning are all significant threats to the bird. Purnima also built the world’s first artificial breeding platform where chicks can hatch safely to address the birds’ shrinking habitat problem. In addition, Purnima believes she has fostered pride in the rare stork by associating positive festivities with the bird.
Credit: Fundación Selva Sagrada
Fundación Selva Sagrada is an Indigenous-led organization working with 80 communities in the Morona River basin in the Ecuadorian Amazon to defend their fundamental freedoms as indigenous peoples and promote alternatives for ecosystem conservation.
Since 2002, the South Rupununi Conservation Society (SRCS) has aimed to preserve the wildlife, environment and culture of the Rupununi through community-based conservation, environmental education and research.
How Many Elephants is a UK Charity (1186238). We are design-led and impact-driven. We amplify the voices of female rangers around the world and educate a global audience on the importance of conserving African elephants.