Years funded: 2017
Ruaha-Rungwa is one of the most important elephant areas of East Africa, having harbored over 35,000 African savanna elephants only ten years ago. However, this population has been one of the hardest hit by the current poaching crisis and now stands at about 12,000 individuals with virtually no elephants of over 40 years-of- age left.
WCS worked with the Southern Tanzania Elephant Program (STEP) which has been providing aerial support for elephant protection in Ruaha-Rungwa since 2014. The modus operandi of the STEP Aerial Program is as follows: 1) to carry out aerial patrols linked to Ruaha- Rungwa elephant management; 2) to enable and support rangers’ effective ground operations; 3) to implement a systematic program of elephant transects across the vast roadless areas of this wilderness to supplement our ground-based monitoring; and 4) to regularly feed spatial elephant and poaching data into the National Park’s and Game Reserves’ ground patrol strategy.
A STEP air patrol team in Tanzania