African Elephant Stories

  • The Survey

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2024
    The 2022 KAZA Elephant Survey was designed to help estimate elephant numbers, but it also provided other crucial information.
    A small plane flying over the African landscape
  • Big Data

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2024
    In Southern Africa, five countries united by a shared vision for conservation undertake an elephant survey of historic proportions
    Aerial photo of a group of elephants in a small watering hole
  • In good news for elephants, Africa’s largest savanna elephant population is stable

    October 04, 2023

    Seven aircraft surveyed over 40,000 miles of southern Africa’s Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) to estimate the number and distribution of Africa’s largest savanna elephant population. The first-ever synchronized transboundary survey took two months, from August 22 to October 28, 2022, to cover what equates to nearly twice the circumference of the globe. The results were just published and found an overall stable and slightly increased population of 227,900 elephants in the region.

    Photo of an airplane in flight over savanna landscape
  • Moving forward

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2023
    WWF and our partners are pursuing two initiatives united by a shared vision for a sustainable future
    Lion resting at base of cliff
  • Through droughts and displacement, Rebecca Adams builds a better life

    February 23, 2023

    In the remote Namibian village of De Riet, goat herder Rebecca Adams builds a better future while living alongside elephants and lions.

    Rebecca Adams sits outside De Riet village, Namibia
  • KAZA's first-ever coordinated aerial elephant survey launched

    October 06, 2022

    The first-ever synchronized and coordinated aerial survey of Africa's largest savanna elephant populations is underway in the five countries that make up the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA). Launched in northwest Zimbabwe at the end of August, the survey is undertaken by the five KAZA partner countries—Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—and with support from WWF and other partners.

     Aerial view of the african bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) in the Qorokwe concession, Okavango Delta, Botswana
  • Crossing Paths

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2020
    As seasonal waters ebb and flow, the movements of elephants and other wildlife follow.
    African elephant facing camera
  • Get a dose of nature without leaving home

    WWF Magazine: Fall 2020
    A new webinar series by WWF and Natural Habitat Adventures offers travel-lovers an inspiring way to explore the world —all from the comfort of home.
    African elephant in tall grass
  • Sightlines

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2020
    In Zambia's Kafue National Park, WWF and partners are instituting new thermal imaging technology to monitor and protect wildlife from poachers, and to keep local people safer in the process.
    Workman on tower
  • Nine reasons to feel hopeful for wildlife

    March 03, 2020

    In honor of World Wildlife Day, we celebrate some hopeful conservation stories to remind us actions make a difference and there’s still time to preserve our natural world if we all do our part.

    Tiger captured with camera trap
  • Two years after China bans elephant ivory trade, demand for elephant ivory is down

    December 31, 2019

    Two years ago this month, China took the monumental step of banning elephant ivory trade within the country. Dec. 31, 2017 was the last day it was legal to buy or sell ivory there.

    African elephant.
  • Progress in closing elephant ivory markets

    August 12, 2019

    Singapore takes an important step in protecting species from illegal wildlife trade.

    African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana) in Linyanti Reserve, Botswana
  • Can we use social media to help save elephants?

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2019
    For Chinese tourists traveling internationally, ivory demand has increased. WWF worked to combat that trend via a social media campaign focused on reaching travelers through Chinese social platforms.
    elephan summer2019
  • The status of African elephants

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    In 1930, as many as 10 million wild elephants roamed huge swaths of the African continent. But decades of poaching and conflict have since decimated African elephant populations.
    feature illus african elephantherd winter2018
  • Why do people buy elephant ivory?

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    China made history by banning elephant ivory sales in 2017; now WWF is working to stop the demand.
    Forest elephant What WWF is doing
  • Living with Elephants in Botswana

    WWF Magazine: Winter 2018
    With elephant ranges expanding and human populations growing and requiring more land for agriculture, finding effective ways to deal with human-elephant conflict has never been more important.
    feature botswana elephants
  • WWF’s Ming Yao on why China’s elephant ivory trade ban matters

    September 28, 2018

    WWF spoke with Ming Yao, a member of WWF’s wildlife conservation team who has worked closely with elephant ivory demand reduction projects, to learn more about her point of view on China’s ivory ban and how it has influenced consumer behavior in her country.

    elephant walking
  • What’s the difference between Asian and African elephants? And 10 other elephant facts

    Elephants, found in both Africa and Asia, are vital to maintaining the rich biodiversity of the ecosystems that they share with other species. Here's a snapshot of what you should know about them.

    African elephant portrait
  • Collaring elephants in one of Africa's last great wildernesses

    April 03, 2018

    Thanks to satellite collars, 60 elephants will be monitored for better protection against poaching in one of the last great African wildernesses, Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve.

    elephant in Selous
  • New US elephant ivory market study helps agencies better regulate trade

    WWF Magazine: Spring 2018
    In 2016, the US government imposed a “near-total ban” on imports, exports, and domestic trade of African elephant ivory. The findings led to recommendations that could help the US regulate the trade.
    African elephant on a white background
  • Most Chinese consumers support an upcoming ban on elephant ivory in China—if they know about it

    By the end of December, it will be illegal to sell or buy elephant ivory in China. But will the new and critical ban succeed in a country that’s home to the largest legal ivory market in the world?

    elephants stand close together
  • Working together to save World Heritage Sites

    April 18, 2017

    On World Heritage Day, we’re highlighting some of the incredible sites that WWF is working to save. These sites belong to all of us, and together we can protect them for wildlife and people around the world.

    Green turtles in the ocean.
  • World Heritage sites, strongholds for tiger and African elephant populations, endangered by illegal harvesting of species

    April 18, 2017

    A new report by WWF reveals that World Heritage sites are especially vulnerable to illegal harvesting of species listed by CITES, including tigers and African elephants.

    Sumatran tiger
  • Tracking elephant migrations

    WWF Magazine: Summer 2017
    In the first project of its kind in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, WWF—along with the Kenyan Wildlife Service and Narok County Council—is now collaring elephants.
    A recently GPS collared, matriarch African elephant stands with it's herd