Enduring together – expanding support for Elephant Guardians


Why this project is important

The Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai (DPKY) World Heritage Site in central Thailand is an internationally important site for the conservation of globally threatened species, and one of the most diverse and important forest landscapes in Thailand. This vast, biodiverse region is home to one of the country’s last contiguous Asian elephant populations. But this population is threatened by encroachment into elephant habitat, poaching, and human-elephant conflict (HEC) in communities outside the boundaries of the protected area. The growing problem of HEC is beyond the capacity of local authorities to address, but an alternative approach, developed at a grassroots level with the communities most affected, offers great promise.

Project Partner: Freeland Foundation

Elephant population across the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai complex: up to 800

Duration: 2018 – 2019

Project goal

To empower a civil society network to develop grassroots solutions to HEC, and provide training for rapid response enforcement and wildlife monitoring.

What we do

Elephant Family is funding the Freeland Foundation to continue their successful strategies to address the multi-faceted conservation challenges facing Asian elephants in DPKY. These include:

1) Empowering a local civil society network to develop and share grassroots solutions to HEC, helping it become a central point of contact for both community members and park officials for collaborative conservation activities.

2) Tackling the poaching threat by providing vocational training to poachers, helping them change course and instead become animal protectors; and building the capacity of a rapid-response unit established to investigate and deter poaching activity targeting wild elephants.

3) Building capacity of park staff to undertake intensive, strategic monitoring of wild elephants and the threats they face, making evidence-based conservation strategies a possibility.

Volunteer report from the field: HEC Wang Mee Report 2018