G3G is proudly part of groupelephant.com and one of the groups primary initiatives is ERP – the preservation of at-risk Elephants and Rhinos, through alleviation of poverty among rural People in areas adjacent to the threatened species, or ERP, if you will. ERP have recently made exciting progress in various initiatives across southern Africa and continue to make significant contributions to the international conservation arena. One of their on-going campaigns is the 911 Elephant Programme.
ERP is fast becoming an industry leader in providing alternative non-lethal elephant management interventions to protected areas throughout southern Africa. By responding to emergencies where the lives of individual elephants or small groups of elephants are at risk, ERP is proving that elephant populations can be managed without the need for lethal culling practices. Elephant populations are diminishing at an alarming rate and it is essential for the protection of both large and small populations on a global scale. Although they are focused on African populations at this stage, the manner in which Asian elephant populations are managed is also a cause for great concern. They are currently exploring options for ERP to become more involved in the preservation of the Asian elephant.
Their non-lethal offering includes a variety of different management methods such as GPS tracking using collars, constant ‘boots on the ground’ monitoring and drone technology to ensure that ERP can provide a holistic, turn-key solution to reserves which are considering elephant culling as a solution to managing their elephant populations. They believe that there is no such thing as a problem elephant or population but rather problematic, ill-informed elephant management practices. These practices cause elephants to respond in a manner which is perceived as unacceptable behaviour, often resulting in the untimely, unjustified deaths of these sentient beings.
Although the 911 Elephant Programme has been developed as a unique, tactical response to elephant emergencies in South Africa, this programme does however form an integral part of their long term elephant preservation strategy within which there are two key objectives:
- The first being the establishment of sanctuaries for elephants who have been in captivity their entire lives (i.e. in circuses or zoos) or who have been the subjects of lucrative elephant back safari/elephant interaction operations, which scar them for as long as they live. The objective of these sanctuaries is to return these animals to wilderness conditions for them to have improved well-being, giving them a second chance at life.
- The second aim of the greater ERP elephant protection strategy, is the establishment of extensive conservation systems which will have the capacity to host mega-populations of over 1000 elephants. A key issue facing elephant populations in Africa and Asia, is the limited access to land for population growth. ERP is currently in negotiations with the Mozambican government to secure large tracts of elephant habitat. The intention is to establish these areas as elephant reserves to which they can relocate large numbers of elephants from South Africa, thereby reducing pressure on growing populations in small private and provincial reserves throughout the country.
We would like to offer a big thank you to all of those involved for your continued efforts in supporting the ERP projects. Without you, none of these projects would be possible! For those of you who aren’t yet involved but would like to make a contribution to this amazing cause, you can do so here.