Elephants and Ivory: Our Work to End Africa's Poaching Crisis

African elephants are in crisis. The demand for ivory has skyrocketed and can now fetch more than $600 per pound on the black market. This increased demand has sent poaching rates soaring, with an estimated one elephant killed every 15 minutes.

Beyond the immediate effects this has on the ecosystem, poaching also threatens the livelihoods of people living in places where elephants range. Poachers spread crime and rob communities of one of their most valuable assets. Elephants draw tourists from around the world, providing a legal, sustainable source of income for people living in communities where elephants range.

In response, the Nature Conservancy in Africa has launched the African Elephant Initiative to scale up and expand our elephant conservation efforts.

What We’re Doing

The African Elephant Initiative is employing five key strategies to reverse the trend of the poaching crisis:

• Increase security measures
• Secure elephant habitat
• Gain local support
• Reduce ivory demand
• Engage supporters

Read more about the success we have had with these elephant protection strategies over the past year.

Understanding Ivory

The ivory issue is complex and can be confusing, since not all ivory is illegal.

• Find the answers to nine key questions you might have about ivory and the ivory trade.

• Hear how TNC’s Beijing-based Ivory Project Director Xiaohua Sun answers five key questions about the demand for ivory and what we can do about it.


Much like the elephants themselves, this problem is large and complex. We can’t do this alone. We are grateful for all the people and organizations that are coming together to tackle this issue through our key campaigns, including:

• Martin Guitar: As the founding sponsor of our #SaveElephants campaign, Martin Guitar has donated several custom, signed guitars to the effort, including a D-28 signed by Sir Paul McCartney himself that raised $50,000 at auction.

• Tencent Corporation: On May 22, 2015, Tencent Corporation, Asia’s second-largest internet company, joined the International Fund for Animal Welfare and TNC in a joint campaign — Tencent for the Planet — to combat online wildlife trade, especially focusing on illegal ivory business conducted on WeChat and QQ (large social media tools serviced by Tencent).

• Our Supporters: We are so inspired by the thousands of people who have joined us in our effort to #SaveElephants in Africa. Whether you make an #elegram, join our herd, follow @nature_africa on social media or donate, you can help us spread the word and put a stop to the poaching crisis in Africa.




   Please leave this field empty
x animal

Sign up for Nature eNews!

Sign Up for Nature e-News

Learn about the places you love. Find out
how you can help.

Thank you for joining our online community!

We’ll be in touch soon with more Nature Conservancy news, updates and exciting stories.

Please leave this field empty

I'm already on the list!

Read our privacy policy.