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The longest running study on wild elephants

The evolution of the Amboseli elephants population since 1972

By Amboseli Trust for Elephants and Mavromatika


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The Amboseli Trust for Elephants has been studying the elephants of Amboseli, Kenya since 1972. We have followed the lives of more than 3200 individuals born into 68 families. Based in what is now Amboseli National Park, our study population inhabits 8,000 km2 in Kenya and including areas in Tanzania.

The graph you are about to see shows the development of the Amboseli study population. Families have increased in size over time. The population as a whole has also grown, making Amboseli a unique model of a healthy population. Thanks to community support for elephants, Amboseli escaped the large scale poaching of the 1980s, 1990s. The current crisis has reduced elephant numbers by a third across the continent, and caused some populations to crash by 60%. In Amboseli, our challenges are to promote coexistence between increasing numbers of humans and elephants and keep a healthy ecosystem for all. We use our long-term data and baseline population to help inform management decisions for elephants elsewhere.

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