The Mali Elephant Project

Location Gourma in Mali-Africa

An initiative of The WILD/Wilderness Foundation & the International Conservation Fund of Canada

Mali is a beautiful, landlocked desert country in North West Africa. Perhaps best known for its rich cultural diversity, Mali is also home to the northernmost herd of African elephants.

Research conducted by Save the Elephants using GPS elephant collars mapped the elephant ranges and revealed a unique pattern of migration among African elephants. The results are summarized in the map below. WILD developed a plan, obtained funding and got to work with Save the Elephants and other partners to answer a few key questions:

  • The Elephants of Mali In the early stages of this program, not much was known about the unique herd of elephants in Mali.
  • Are the elephants in danger? Once we knew a bit more about the elephant population, it was clear that imminent threats exist and that conservation action was needed to secure the future of the herd.
  • What can be done to help? We’ve embarked on a large-scale action and outreach program to work with local communities, government officials, tourism companies and others to help the Mali elephants, and in turn, help the people of Mali.
  • News - For updates about the project, please visit the Mali Elephant Blog

News from the Mali Elephant Project can be found in our blog and images showing project activities here. Watch the video interview with Dr. Susan Canney.

Map of the migration route:

The brown points in the map show elephant locations as recorded every 2 hours by 12 GPS elephant collars. Three of these were deployed for around 18 months between 2000-2001 and 9 between 2009 and 2010. Click on the map to enlarge.

Click here for the French version

Dr. Susan Canney is the Project Leader for the Mali Elephant Project.

Since 2010, the ICFC has been involved programmatically as well as being the largest funder in a pool of project donors.

Significant support has come from the Governments of Mali and the USA (Embassy in Bamako, US Dept of State), the US Fish and Wildlife Service; the UK government’s Darwin Initiative; the Abraham Foundation; SOS Fund; The Tusk Trust; Woodtiger Foundation, and numerous others.