The more research we do, the more we appreciate the complexity of elephant individuals and society and the need to conserve these exceptional animals. Our research supports our education and grass-roots conservation programs, constantly improving popular understanding. Live tracking and ranging studies help determine effective strategies for the fourth pillar of our work, monitoring and protection.
Integral to much of our research are the GPS/GSM collars that enable us to track elephant movement 24 hours a day. The latest GSM (mobile phone) technology was pioneered by Save The Elephants in collaboration with Safaricom Foundation. Collared elephants send text messages every three hours with details of their location, air temperature and humidity.
Our research is important on two levels, pure and applied. From the perspective of pure science, we are beginning to understand why the world's largest land mammal does the things it does. The true size of elephant ranges and migrations are becoming apparent, as is the sensitivity with which elephants use their environment. Close studies of individuals are shedding light on mating strategies, communication channels and conciousness. Group studies are uncovering on the animal kingdom's most complex social structures (aside from our own).
Applied research is a vital component of our strategy in saving the elephants. By building accurate maps of the elephant's landscape, vital parts of their range are defined together with the corridors that link them. This reduces conflict with humans whilst allowing elephants continued access to the areas important to them