The project helps to reduce conflict between elephants and farmers by building protective structures around water sources and creating safe water drinking points for elephants. The team also researches the elephants’ movement and distribution, and compiles identikits on herds and individual elephants.
The volunteer role rotates weekly; the first role is based at a community building project and the second involves researching the elephant population out in the desert.
For building the walls and drinking points, tasks may include:
- Digging foundations
- Rock collection
- Mixing cement
- Building walls
- Maintenance and repairs of previous project
Research and tracking
The research project gives volunteers the opportunity to learn how to track elephants and assist the research staff in monitoring the movements of elephants in the region. Volunteers may be involved in:
- Recording elephant movement patterns using GPS positions
- Compiling and updating the herds identification notes
- Documenting new births, deaths and other important events such as mating
- Collecting elephant dung for DNA sampling
- Noting any issues relating to the elephants health and well-being
Depending on the elephants’ location, a whole day may be spent driving to track the elephants or if they are close by, monitoring the elephants.