Elephants in Peril – new STE Website


by Rob Heittman

Date Published

Save The Elephants is shining a bright light on the elephant poaching crisis with its new web initiative, Elephants In Peril (www.elephantsinperil.com).

Launched at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Jeju, September 2012, the site publishes current news and emerging research about potential threats to the future of elephants.

By combining different public data sets on maps and thematic web pages, Elephants In Peril strives to paint a complete picture of a challenging situation. The latest population, range, and monitoring data from IUCN and CITES make up key parts of the story, alongside original research and outreach by the Save The Elephants team and associates. Beyond the headlines, interested visitors can dig deep and explore our visualisations of the original data over time, to form conclusions about the deteriorating situation for themselves. The site uses a responsive design technology, so it plays well on all devices from desktop computers to cell phones.

In 2012, Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton kicked the tyres on the new Elephants In Peril visualisation framework by presenting troubling indicators of increased illegal killings across the African continent. His warning captured media attention and galvanized justified concerns about the poaching problem. Because the Google mapping technologies in Elephants In Peril provided the ability to share visualizations and deep data by just emailing a Web address, Save The Elephants was able to instantly supply interested journalists with all the supporting data they needed to frame conclusions and develop their own expositional materials, getting the story quickly to print.

Going forward, Elephants In Peril aims to be the definitive shareable, citable source for the latest and deepest understanding of the poaching problem. To credibly raise awareness, both traditional and social media need backing by trustworthy source material. As curator of this initiative, Save The Elephants brings its reputation for truth-telling and quality science on the ground.

The initial development of Elephants In Peril was funded by a Tides Foundation grant sponsored by Google Earth Outreach, and produced by Solertium and Thinc. The team continues to work to improve and extend the site, including a Chinese translation planned for 2013.

Google Blog on Elephants in Peril Website