With Africa’s elephant numbers down to about 650,000 from3 million just a few decades ago, we have to take action now. Every elephant counts.
The problem is, there is an over-abundance of elephants in certain areas, where populations are usually well managed and protected, and a number of threatened populations where they have become easy targets.
Organizations on the ground are doing their best to protect these ‘hot spots’but where there are what some would could ‘too many elephants’ they are eating their way out of habitat. This will inevitably lead to a population crash in these safer areas as well.
What are possible solutions? Moving or herding elephants along former migration routes is an option. This saves the huge costs of transporting these giants.The old migration routes exist all the way from northern Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa, up through Kruger Park, along the Limpopo, upon the Shashe, to the Nata and finally to the Chobe and Zambezi in northern Botswana and Zimbabwe. A huge area which has suitable pockets of conservation land to absorb and spread out populations. But on the way, they will come into contact with pockets of humans, which may give rise to problems. How do we steer a herd of elephants safely along a narrow corridor between human habitation and their next safe have?Well, one that has arisen quite amazingly is the use of bees.
The Elephants and Bees Project, run by Dr. Lucy King, in collaboration with Save The Elephants, Oxford University, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is working.Here’s the link to this award winning project: https://elephantsandbees.com
Bees are scary for elephants, as they are for most humans, and hives are used as Beehive Fences, which keep the elephants from harming crops and potentially dangerous human contact – they are kept safe themselves within the Hive Fences !
A great project, with much potential for other areas and countries – what I love about it is the solution is entirely natural, and can be implemented in most rural areas, with the added benefit of the communities benefiting form the honey !
Would love to see this implemented on a larger scale ! That’s my positive conservation story for the day – have a good one!
All the very best.
Robert C Waldron is an award-winning film-maker and author, who has published six books, and had over fifty of his documentaries broadcast worldwide, on channels such as National Geographic, Discovery, Curiosity Stream, Animal Planet, ZDF, and moire.
His latest book is, as he says, ‘giving back’ . HOW TO MAKE WILDLIFE FILMS: THE HANDBOOK, is a comprehensive guide that distills over thirty years; of wildlife film-making into a usable workbook for those who want to make a living in this profession.
Packed with technical detail, and with multiple video links, the book is a comprehensive text, yet lightened with anecdotes and examples of filming challenges on several continents, in temperatures from – 60C to + 45 C. You can check out some of the interior pages, our buy the book, on the following links:https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Waldron/e/B0084NFGEA at Amazon, or on iBooks at : https://books.apple.com/gb/book/how-to-make-wildlife-films/id1502116201