We like to thank those of you having supported our cause through WildlifeDirect – Michelle P. in particular! We hope for your continued support through our online donation option via ElephantVoices.org. – All contributions towards elephants and our work are much appreciated!
You might like to read some of our reflections from CITES (CoP15) in Doha, where elephants won a couple of major victories, and furthermore go through some media coverage related to the devastating ivory trade.
Warm greetings, Joyce and Petter
Twenty years after the international trade in ivory was banned, many of you have read that there is a new boom in the killing of elephants for their tusks. This development is a critical threat to the future of elephants, and we and many others work hard to try to convince CITES that they should reject proposals from Tanzania and Zambia that we believe will further stimulate the trade in ivory and poaching.
We continue to update links to global media coverage related to the ivory trade and poaching on ElephantVoices, and you will also find updates and comments on ElephantVoices on Facebook.
From the ivory burning in Nairobi National Park in July 1991 - 6.8 tonnes were set on fire to give the signal to the world that protecting elephants are more important than short term monetary gain. Copyright: ElephantVoices
We send a warm thank you to those supporting us during 2009 – your interest and generous contributions makes a big difference and is highly appreciated! We dedicated your donations towards our work in Kenya, especially Petter’s field trip early in the year and Joyce’s in November.
We will at the same time apologize for not being as active on WildlifeDirect as we planned to. As a small organization we’re having a hard time dealing with all the elephant-issues we’re constantly confronted with – and (unfortunately) there are only 24 hours a day:-) We are happy to see that so many other bloggers on WD are active – and can only hope that some of you WD friends also visit us on ElephantVoices or ElephantVoices on Facebook.
People often ask us what THEY can do for elephants. There is actually a lot you CAN do – whether its helping to stop the killing of elephants for ivory, strengthening conservation efforts, being an eco-tourist (like Barack Obama-:)) or improving the lives of elephants in captivity. We have listed some ideas here. One special challenge is to educate those who do not understand what a life of confinement means, and especially about how much elephants in circuses suffer. WE NEED YOUR INVOLVEMENT!
We’re asking an important favour of you: Get your friends to join ElephantVoices on Facebook, and not only those you believe support elephants already. We would like to reach as many people as possible about elephant interests – which is why we’re spending time here on WildlifeDirect, on Facebook and on ElephantVoices.org. Each day we work with cases and issues trying to convince legislators, judges and other decision-makers that elephants deserve proper treatment – and public opinion is extremely important!
We wish you and yours a great 2010 – please spread the word!
Take care, Joyce and Petter
More and more people are on social networks. ElephantVoices is following the trend, with the obvious goal of improving our educational interface towards a global audience. With the current disastrous boom in the trade in ivory and poaching anybody working for the future and interest of elephants must optimize all efforts trying to reduce supply of and demand for ivory. A big job has to be done between now and the CITES conference (CoP15) starting in the middle of March.
ElephantVoices’ facebook “window” will be were we will post daily updates, viewpoints and comments, while hoping for many from you as well. Join us! We will at the same time continue to improve and expand ElephantVoices.org when it comes to comprehensive information about elephant communication and elephants interests, our multimedia databases, and access to other relevant resources. We will also give news updates through the site, and here on WildlifeDirect, when appropriate.
ElephantVoices 4U is launched to provide a network for youth who want to discuss and work together to secure a kinder future for elephants. We are very grateful for anyone recruiting young people to join!
ElephantVoices is also on Twitter, for people that want to follow our work and updates through this communication channel.
Some of you may enjoy watching a “video” put together by Petter from ElephantVoices’ visit to PAWS in San Andreas, California, in late October 2009. The soundtrack consist of elephant sounds from our collection, in a composition mixed by Gerry Bassermann.
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We are grateful if you are willing to spread the word about The Elephant Charter. The intention with the online Charter is to provide a set of guiding Principles, based on elephant biology, to form a touchstone for anyone needing to address elephant interests.
Buttressed by its Appendix, The Elephant Charter represents a consensus of the nature of elephants. It is intended to promote scientifically sound and ethical management and care of all elephants, providing guidance to law and policy makers, enforcement agencies and the courts, organizations, institutions and international bodies, as well as to managers of wild and captive elephants.
The Elephant Charter is independent of any particular group or institution. Rather, its force comes from the expertise and stature of the elephant biologists who are its signatories. Its authors, Joyce Poole, Cynthia Moss, Raman Sukumar, Andrea Turkalo and Katy Payne are eminent elephant field biologists representing the longest studied populations of African savannah, Asian and African forest elephants: the elephants of Amboseli, Mudumalai and Dzanga Bai. With four decades of groundbreaking research on wild elephants, together with the research of many colleagues, they are collectively in a position to speak with confidence about the interests of elephants wherever they may be.
On the site elephant biologists are invited to join as Signatories, and to take ownership of the sentiments reflected in The Elephant Charter and to uphold its Principles. So far close to 50 elephant biologists have signed on.
You will furthermore find an invitation to members of the public, who wish to make their voices heard, to add their names as Supporting Signatories.
In February we told the story about the baby elephant that fell into a man-made well west of Kilimanjaro, and how she ended up at the elephant orphanage at The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi.
You may read what we just posted on ElephantVoices, and see the video from the rescue either there or below. Sometimes a bad situation ends up ok – even though I’m sure Kibo is still missing his family!
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In todays newsletter, sent out to ElephantVoices friends and contacts around the world, we gave an introduction to the second generation ElephantVoices.org as well as touching on some of the issues that have occupied us over the last few months. Supported by programmers at Verviant.com in Nairobi, we have built a new cyber home. Our main purpose has been to develop an efficient, flexible and creative platform for the online sharing of information about elephants – their behavior, communication and interests.
We apologise for not being able to launch the news section and the Video Database at this stage. And you may find that some things don’t function as they should – please let us know! Our overall goal is to continue to expand and improve the site in the years to come.
We invite you to take a tour on ElephantVoices!
Best wishes, Petter and Joyce
As we continue to plan for the next phase of our Minneriya-Kaudulla Elephant Project, we have been following the dramatic situation in Sri Lanka along with the rest of the world. We look forward to a peaceful future for all Sri Lankans!
It is more critical than ever to ensure the reduction of conflict between elephants and people – a goal at the core of our project. Marketing of beautiful Sri Lanka including Minneriya’s and Kaudulla’s elephants could in itself contribute toward a new era – from all perspectives sustainable tourism will be important for people AND for the conservation of wildlife.
Our Sri Lankan colleague, Manori Gunawardena, will be visiting us from 15th to 25 June. With new developments we have lots of planning issues to deal with as well as adding some 300 individual elephants into the project’s elephant ID database on our high-speed internet connection. Prior to Manori’s working visit with us, she will attend a GIS course at Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC to learn mapping techniques that are an integral part of the project. The cost for the course is covered by Smithsonian Institute.
The remainder of the budget for Manori’s travel from 30th May to 25 June is:
Flights: Colombo – UK – Washington – UK – Norway – Colombo, $1626
Lodging Washington: $1120
Visa UK and Norway, and airport transfer DC: $240
ElephantVoices is committed to cover the total cost of $2986, and in the current financial climate any contribution is highly welcome!
Cheers, Petter and Joyce
Several WD visitors have asked us where they can get a copy of the book An Elephant In The Room: The Science and Well-Being of Elephants in Captivity. We do know that the book will be made available on amazon.com, but we are also aware that that may still take a bit of time. We will keep you updated. The opening chapter in the book, Mind and Movement: Meeting the interests of elephants, is written by ElephantVoices’ Joyce Poole and Petter Granli. You may open and download the chapter here (.pdf-file, 2,2 mb).
Cover photos by Petter Granli, ElephantVoices.
The Performing Animal Welfare Society’s (PAWS) 25th Anniversary Gala and Conference takes place at ARK2000 in San Andreas, California, from 24 to 26 April. Joyce is one of the keynote speakers, and will participate throughout the conference. Join leading wildlife and captive wildlife experts for an interactive full 3-Day Conference!