Mali Elephant Project

ICFC Logo 3An 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.

Forever Wild Elephant ConservationHistory

Learn how the project began with fascinating scientific studies to understand this unique migration, engaged the communities and school-children, and developed its approach in response to a crisis at Lake Banzena, which it was then able to employ throughout the elephant range. Project history >


Both the elephants and the people need a healthy environment that is productive and resilient to survive a variable climate. We take a “whole system” approach that works with all stakeholders to empower local communities to manage the environment in a way that:

  • makes more resources (water, pasture, forest) available through protecting and restoring habitats;
  • Mali local with elephant drawingleaves space for elephants to reduce conflict;
  • protects the elephants from illegal killing

Surviving the conflict of 2012 – stronger and better!

In 2012, government fled the zone, the area became lawless and awash with guns, and we feared greatly for the elephants’ safety; but by adapting our working methods and
approach, our courageous field team was able to continue working with the population to help them with their challenges, and protect the elephants at the same time. See how we did it, and how we are responding to the post-conflict situation, including community reconciliation and generating national debate. You can also view the report in French.

Learn more about:

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 and her TEDx talk, “Punch above your weight- Mali Elephant Conservation.”