Africa's elephants could disappear from much of the wild within a generation.

A virulent wave of poaching is threatening these iconic creatures, with an elephant killed for its tusks every 15 minutes. Driving the killing is a complex, international ivory trade that thrives on poverty, corruption, and greed.

But there is hope. Conservation organizations and communities, scientists and governments, are all uniting behind a common strategy to stop the killing, the trafficking, and the demand for ivory. The Elephant Crisis Fund—a joint initiative of Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network—exists to fuel this coalition, encourage collaboration, and deliver rapid impact on the ground.

The Elephant Crisis Fund has but one goal: to end the ivory crisis.
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It has been three years since Save the Elephants and Wildlife Conservation Network established the Elephant Crisis Fund with the aim of averting the destruction of elephants in Africa. This was a huge undertaking that required identifying which collapsing elephant populations could best be helped, and choosing the most effective partners to support. 

To date, the Elephant Crisis Fund has funded some of the best-conceived interventions in the most critical hotspots to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand for ivory. We are excited to share our Elephant Crisis Fund Special Report 2017 that outlines the vital work made possible with support from our donors.


“Elephants cannot be manufactured. Once they’re gone, they cannot be replaced.”
—Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, DPhil, CBE,
 Founder and CEO, Save the Elephants

The Crisis


At least 33,000 elephants are killed for their tusks each year in a devastating wave of poaching that is sweeping across Africa. This elephant genocide is driven by demand for ivory as a symbol of wealth or prestige in Asia. Sophisticated criminal elements - often the same groups that smuggle guns, people, and drugs - orchestrate the poaching and smuggling of elephant tusks to foreign markets. The illicit profits of this ivory trade finance terrorism and wars, threatening not only the future of elephants, but also security in Africa and around the world.


The Solution

The elephant crisis is too big for any one organization or government to resolve. It requires the best ideas and actions from a diverse coalition of effective leaders, NGOs, institutions, media, scientists, and governments. It also requires speed and efficiency, collaboration, and innovation. These are the principles of the Elephant Crisis Fund.


“Because of the Elephant Crisis Fund  we've had a plane, fuel, and manpower to conduct more than 110,000 miles of aerial reconnaissance routes across the vast Tsavo National Parks, allowing a bird’s eye view to direct anti-poaching teams more swiftly. With the ECF’s help, we’ve seen elephant poaching plummet by more than half.”

—Richard Moller, CEO of the Tsavo Trust


countries where we have invested



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millions of dollars delivered


Every penny of every dollar saves elephants.

100% to the field. No donation supports overheada crisis demands that every resource produces results. Donations will be used to support our anti-poaching, anti-trafficking, or demand reduction programs.

Ideas, not institutions.The Elephant Crisis Fund—a joint initiative between Save the Elephants (STE) and the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN)—funds anti-poaching, anti-trafficking, and demand reduction projects around the world regardless of the organization's size—for it is the best ideas, not any one institution, that will save elephants. The STE and WCN teams strongly vet applicants for their efficacy and their projects for priority, ensuring that a dollar to save elephants through the Elephant Crisis Fund is a dollar well spent.

Incomparable Speed. When poaching strikes, rapid response is needed. The Elephant Crisis Fund's nimbleness means it can provide funds to a conservationist’s account within as little as 24 hours.

Support the Elephant Crisis Fund


“The Elephant Crisis Fund is a game-changer and my foundation is pleased to support it. The ECF is also changing environmental philanthropy by eliminating bureaucracy and overhead and making sure funding can reach the very best elephant conservation projects.”
—Leonardo DiCaprio

The ivory crisis is affecting elephants across Africa. The Elephant Crisis Fund is responding at the same scale by fueling a coalition of the best anti-poaching organizations across the continent.

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Anti-poaching Anti-trafficking Demand Reduction

How You Can Help

The Elephant Crisis Fund is a joint initiative of Save the Elephants and the Wildlife Conservation Network.

Save the Elephants, based in Kenya, is a long-term protector of elephants and a leading voice and advocate for elephants on the geopolitical stage. Founder Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton has spent 50 years working with elephants in Africa and has built a team with the  connections across the continent needed to partner with the most effective organizations.

Wildlife Conservation Network has a unique reputation for efficiency, collaboration, and responsiveness in pursuit of its mission to save endangered wildlife by supporting independent, entrepreneurial, field-based conservationists like Save the Elephants. Charity Navigator, America’s largest charity evaluator, ranked WCN as a top-rated wildlife conservation nonprofit for its financial efficiency, transparency and accountability. 

The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation is a proud supporter of the Elephant Crisis Fund.

Support the Elephant Crisis Fund


Elephants Are Very Scared of Bees. That Could Save Their Lives.

The Elephants and Bees Project has proven extremely successful at protecting African elephants for more than a decade. Now a new study is giving hope for protecting Asian elephants as well.

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