“One man’s mission to fight elephant poaching
Africa is experiencing a severe poaching crisis of the order we have not seen since the 1970s. One man is leading the fight to save the elephants through technology, collaboration, and community engagement.
This man is Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton. His groundbreaking study of elephant behavior in Tanzania in the 1960’s paved the way for elephant research and conservation today. Intrigued by their intelligence, Iain became passionate about elephant protection and founded “Save the Elephants” in 1993.
Today, Iain is a leader in using technology for conservation. He has outfitted GPS collars on eighty wild elephants, enabling researchers to watch live elephant movements through Google Earth, an experience similar to flying across the Kenyan bush from 500 feet in the air. He has been named a Google Earth hero for his innovative use of Google Earth in conservation.
Through Android phones, Iain collects GPS location data and photos about elephant deaths. He then shares the data as indisputable evidence with advocacy bodies tracking elephant poaching trends. He also does his part to save the environment while saving the elephants. His project is powered entirely by solar panels.
Googlers interested in watching elephants in Kenya are welcome to stay at the Elephant Watch Camp, run by Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton’s wife Oria.
About the Speaker: Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton
Iain founded Save the Elephants in 1993, involving local people in both conservation efforts and research. Iain received his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Oxford in England. He was honored with the Netherlands’ prestigious Order of the Golden Ark conservation award, and was inducted into the Order of the British Empire in 1993. Iain is respected as one of the world’s principal authorities on the African elephant.
Video animation of Mountain Bull’s movements were created by Jake Wall of Save the Elephants using ESRI Chronological Analyst for ArcMap
Winnie Lam was the host for this talk.”