The Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control (BIWFC) hosted a webinar on April 15, 2021 at 11am EDT titled “Providing ecological and social context for elephant immunocontraception: a case study in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa” featuring Paul Cryer, coordinator of the African Conservation Trust’s Applied Ecology Unit. This area of ecology has included working with local communities to co-create innovative solutions to the socio-economic and environmental issues facing people and the environment. To mitigate human-elephant conflict, he has developed and led training in elephant behavior, specifically for conservation staff and community members encountering elephant on foot.
Cryer’s presentation reviews the setting in which elephant immunocontraception has been applied within Ithala Game Reserve, a community-owned provincial protected area in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ithala Game Reserve provides a test-case where human-elephant conflict is being addressed through a suite of approaches. Within those approaches, a reduced elephant population growth rate provides an essential platform for shifting human consciousness toward a more holistic perception of sustainability, one that may be valid at local and global levels. Approaching human-elephant conflict from multiple approaches, including immunocontraception and range expansion, may point to expanded protected areas, benefitting all species, and increased socio-economic security for the human community members.
To learn more and watch the webinar, visit the BIWFC website.