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MEP actively monitors elephant movements within the Mara eco-system with GPS tracking systems, aerial surveys and ranger teams on the ground. This programme has been very successful and over the next two years aspire to expand its operations to protect more of the Mara’s elephants, help farmers and communities throughout the region and act as a watchdog and first responder across more of the Mara ecosystem. They are looking to put in two more ranger teams to effectively cover two new poaching hotspots.
In order to monitor more elephants, MEP need to expand the monitoring program for elephants and their movements. This activity informs future land zoning negotiations and provides real-time positioning of elephants. One of the biggest components for the programmes is to reduce Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC).
Lastly, MEP builds trust and fosters tolerance with local communities. These partnerships allow the team to work at a grassroots level with education and engagement as the foundation for our relationship. When immediate action is required to save elephants these partnerships help us save elephants and influence long-term land use planning.
SCC is partnering with MEP to help to increase their helicopter flying hours; each flight allows MEP to get a visual identity on as many as seven of the twenty collared elephants in an hour which can be difference between life and death if an elephant is hurt by a snare, arrow or poison. SCC is raising donations to help up their hours with your help. The collar software also includes alarms for immobility, geo-fence breaches and streaks (when an elephant moves quickly potentially signifying it is in danger), which MEP reacts to at a moment’s notice, using the helicopter. MEP’s helicopter is the only operating helicopter dedicated to wildlife protection in the Mara.
Currently MEP are limited in the numbers of hours they can spend flying due to costs. Each hour of flying costs $400 – why not donate 10 minutes of flying by joining SCC’s ‘1 + 1 = 2 Protect’ Scheme at the cost of $66 for 10 minutes.