ElephantVoices Blog


Dear Friend of ElephantVoices,

When elephants have a goal to accomplish, a plan to put into motion, they reach out to their friends. When they have had success and achieved something together, they acknowledge the members of their team. We call it High-Fiving, because it is used in much the same way as we would High-Five with our hands - as a call to action or a celebration of an accomplishment. Only elephants do it with their trunks :-).

Joyce is now into her 42nd year studying elephants and working for their conservation and welfare. In 2017 she and Petter will have worked together as ElephantVoices for 15 years. Just like elephants we rely on our team, and You are on it.

We are grateful for our network of donors, collaborators, colleagues, volunteers and other friends of elephants. We could not do without your support, encouragement, compassion and knowledge. To show our gratitude we High-Five all of you!

Thank you for being there for elephants and for us.

Trumpets, Joyce and Petter

The work of ElephantVoices is dependent on your support - please include ElephantVoices in your giving.
Donate online, or send your contribution to ElephantVoices, 1160 Battery Street, Suite 300, 94111 San Francisco.


Mara ecosystem connectivity: Information on elephant population status and movements
for spatial planning and conservation in Narok County


The report linked at the bottom of this page, Mara ecosystem connectivity: Information on elephant population status and movements for spatial planning and conservation in Narok County, has been prepared at the invitation of the Narok County Government Department of Lands, Urban Development and Physical Planning and the County Assembly Committee on Natural Resources at a stakeholders forum on spatial plan development and resource mobilisation held in Narok on 16 - 17 October 2014. 

Front page Mara elephant report 2016The report presents findings of a collaborative study of elephants in the Maasai Mara ecosystem by ElephantVoices, Save the Elephants, Mara Elephant Project and Kenya Wildlife Service, and offers recommendations for the attention of Narok County. It contributes information about the status of elephants in the ecosystem, their movement patterns and habitat use for consideration in the county’s spatial planning process. The report lays emphasis on the need for urgent intervention to secure critical routes and habitats for long-term survival of elephants and to prevent escalating human elephant conflict and declining biodiversity which, if not halted, would have disastrous consequences for tourism and associated economic benefits for

Did you know… that this posture is called Standing-Tall? When elephants threaten adversaries, they draw themselves up to their full height, spread their ears wide and look down over their big noses at their perceived foes. In this case it was us. Please consider including ElephantVoices in your Year End giving - you can read more about what we need your support for below.

Dear Elephant Friend,

From the tranquil edge of the Great Rift Valley, Kenya, the vast expanse of Africa before us and the sun shining on a land blessed with recent rain, it is hard to comprehend the dreadful events that are affecting so many people around the world. In these troubled times we hope for peace and wish you a Thanksgiving and holiday season surrounded by family and friends.

2015 marks the fifth year that ElephantVoices has been engaged in elephant conservation in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. Our databases now hold thousands of geospatial records on over 1,200 individually recognized adult elephants from across the ecosystem. It is has been a period of tremendous and tumultuous change in the Mara, which is reflected in a report we have written in collaboration with colleagues entitled, Mara ecosystem connectivity: Information


Press release published 26 October 2015:

Elephant Experts From Around the World Oppose Proposed Import of 18 Elephants
from Swaziland to Zoos in Texas, Nebraska and Kansas

“The capture and removal of wild elephants from their home ranges and social groups is appalling and archaic, and the threat to kill elephants unless permits are issued is beyond unethical.”

Dr. Joyce Poole

Washington D.C., October 26, 2015 -- More than 75 elephant experts from across the globe have joined together today to announce their outrage and opposition to the proposed import of 18 elephants from Swaziland by the Dallas Zoo in Texas; Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska; and Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas. The zoos’ request for a permit to import these elephants has just been published in the U.S. Federal Register and is open to public comment. (Download Expert Statement, 750 kB)

“The capture and removal of wild elephants from their home ranges and social groups is appalling and archaic, and the threat to kill elephants unless permits are issued is beyond unethical,” stated Dr. Joyce Poole, Co-founder of ElephantVoices, a world expert on elephant social behavior and communication who has been studying and working to conserve elephants for


Did you know….? Our work in Gorongosa, Mozambique, will be highlighted in episodes 2 and 5 of the six-part PBS series entitled, Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise. The film will premier on 22 September. Our photo of two Mabenzi family babies, taken on a rare drizzly, foggy morning in October 2013, has become an icon for the PBS series. The elephants were tucking into a bonanza of fallen seed pods under the Faidherbia albida trees.

Dear friend of ElephantVoices,

In Maasai Mara, Kenya, citizen scientists have been gathering data using our Mara EleApp and uploading to our Who's Who & Whereabouts Databases. In recent years human and livestock populations have increased and the landscape is being rapidly subdivided and fenced. Ivory poaching has hit the Mara elephants hard, too. While the outlook isn’t uplifting, elephants are resilient, flexible and smart, and we see these qualities reflected in the data: Elephants are strategically adapting their movements and behavior to overcome adversity and to balance access to security and resources. ElephantVoices is working with colleagues to define habitat and corridors to ensure long-term survival of elephants and connectivity of habitat. Many thanks to those who have made our work possible - JRS