The field team in Mali has just sent some updates on the severe drought situation which threatened the survival of the unique elephants of Mali. Dr. Susan Canney, our conservation outreach specialist, and Jake Wall of Save the Elephants have been on-ground in Mali, with the support of Malian Environment Ministry directorate for conservation – Direction Nationale de la Conservation de la Nature (DNCN). They report that the rains have now started – but are spotty and scattered throughout the elephant’s range. The elephants are starting on their annual migration to the South in pursuit of the rains, most traveling through La Porte des Elephants (one of the only gateways still available for the elephants through the Gandamia hills, due to increased settlement and cultivation in the other corridors).
Urgent action on the part of WILD, STE and DNCN to get the water pumps working, construct a watering holding tank and make sure that elephants had access to water was successful. Since our original news alert, no more elephants have died (that we know of). The concrete water holding tank can be used perennially during the dry season at Lake Banzena (where the elephants migrate to in the dry season).
Thank you to the many donors who responded to this urgent issue. Because of your support, the edge of the emergency has been dealt with. Now, we look into the future, plan long-term strategies and continue the important outreach and education work of the Mali Elephant Project.