The current elephant poaching crisis represents a huge challenge to the managers of Tanzania’s elephant strongholds. Long-term, dedicated anti-poaching and intelligence efforts are required to combat the network of poachers and ivory traders that have decimated many populations over the last seven to ten years.
Focused currently on Ruaha National Park, we aim to make a contribution to elephant protection through enhancing surveillance and monitoring, in support of the Park’s anti-poaching efforts.
In September 2014, STEP began long-term aerial support to Ruaha NP. Using a small 2-seater aircraft suited to slow, low flying ideal for surveillance, our pilot team are flying rangers on aerial patrols all over the Park, averaging 10-15 flight hours per week.
In Udzungwa we have provided technical support to anti-poaching units, for example through training in use of GPS and GIS, data collection on elephant carcasses and other poaching events, and spatial analysis of law enforcement effectiveness.