• Elephant in cave (credit MEEP)

    Kenya: Reducing Human-Elephant conflict on Mount Elgon

  • Tuck gouges on cave wall (credit MEEP)

    Kenya: Reducing Human-Elephant conflict on Mount Elgon

  • Cave at Mount Elgon (credit MEEP)

    Kenya: Reducing Human-Elephant conflict on Mount Elgon

  • Elephant in snare (credit MEEP)

    Kenya: Reducing Human-Elephant conflict on Mount Elgon

In Brief

Conservation Value:

Mount Elgon is a solitary and inactive volcano located on the border between eastern Uganda and western Kenya. It is the second highest mountain in Kenya (4,321 m) and is topographically prominent and isolated. These geographic features make it an important source of water and biodiversity in the region.

The slopes of Mt Elgon are pitted with a series of caves that contain salt deposits. These caves are visited by wild elephants who gouge the cave walls with their tusks to lick the exposed salt. These are the only elephants known to go deep into caves to mine salt.

Threats:

The change in land use from forest to agriculture is putting pressure on habitat of the local elephant population. Encroaching agriculture cuts across the elephants’ movement routes, resulting in human-elephant conflict as elephants raid and consume farm crops.  This poses a danger to humans and elephants alike.

Actions & Results:

The project is developing measures to protect people, livelihoods, and elephants, including:

  • Daily patrolling, monitoring, and tracking by community scouts
  • Education and outreach in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service
  • A beehive fence pilot project (bees deter elephants from crossing into farm plots)

Location:

Mount Elgon, Kenya 

Goal:

Reduce human-wildlife conflict along the slopes of Mount Elgon

Project Field Partner:

The East African Wild Life Society

Cost:

2022 budget: US$10,691 over six months

Size of Area Involved:

73,705 hectares

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Gallery

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Human-elephan conflict poses a serious threat (credit MEEP)
In an effort to extract salt, elephants use their tucks to gouge cave walls (credit Stephen Powles)
The elephants on Mount Elgon visit caves in search for salt (credit MEEP)
Human-elephant conflict poses a real problem (credit MEEP)

In More Depth...

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