Big Tusker Project, Kenya
The Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) holds Kenya’s largest elephant population with the world’s largest sustainable gene pool of elephants carrying exceptionally large ivory (over 100 pounds per tusk). In 2014 there were 15 of these iconic Tuskers alive. By the end of 2015 there were 11 and by mid 2016 there were only 10 remaining. Despite this trend, Tsavo remains the best place on earth to see these magnificent giants, but they are under intense threat from poachers. Massive in size and largely roadless, TCA and its Big Tusker inhabitants are protected by aerial coverage. Working in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the Big Tusker Project also provides aerial backup to anti-poaching operations, participates in censuses and scientific research, and monitors elephant populations while paying special attention to the Tuskers. IEF continues our multi-year support with a special focus on the Iconic Cows (female big tuskers) whose genetics are also valuable to conservation efforts.