Partners in Elephant Conservation

Partners in Elephant Conservation

Community involvement plays a key role in elephant conservation.


6 - 12+


Anthropology, Sociology, Earth Science, Geography

This short video from the National Geographic film Battle for the Elephants highlights an elephant conservation success story. The profiled program employs more than 200 members of the community around Kenya’s Amboseli National Park as game rangers—some of the rangers were once poachers themselves. The rangers have joined Richard Bonham and the Big Life Foundation in the battle to stop elephant poaching.

Bonham and the Big Life Foundation pioneered this effective wildlife conservation program when it became clear that the only sustainable solution to elephant poaching was to partner with and involve the local community. The grassroots effort provides community members with added income, increased prestige, and a sense of camaraderie and shared mission. As Bonham says, this community involvement provides an incentive to “fight for the elephants instead of against them.”

This conservation effort is just one part of the ongoing battle between those who deal in illegal ivory and those who work to stop the killing of Africa’s elephants for their tusks. The ivory trade—and elephant poaching—is a story of supply and demand. Wealth, along with a desire for ivory in China, drives the demand side; poachers increasingly drive the supply side.

Even with the ban on sales of ivory still in place, elephant conservation is a hard sell.

Media Credits

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Elaine Larson, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
J.J. Kelley
Elaine Larson, National Geographic Society
Last Updated

December 15, 2023

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National Geographic Television and Film