|Grantee||Wildlife Action Group, Malawi|
|Type||Anti poaching & human-elephant coexistence|
Thuma and Dedza-Salima, adjacent Forest Reserves in the central region of Malawi, hold a small but nationally significant elephant population of around 190 elephants, representing 10% of Malawi’s elephant population. These elephants are protected by a committed NGO, the Wildlife Action Group (WAG), and the ECF has provided four grants since 2015 to support the WAG team. Our initial grant-funded anti-poaching scouts more than doubled the force deployed to secure the elephants in this rugged forest area. Funding was also provided for the development of a law guidance booklet and rewards leaflet, and support to prosecutors for wildlife crime cases. Subsequent grants have funded a law enforcement workshop, further scout training, support for anti-poaching logistics, emergency veterinary care for snare removal, satellite collars, and the installation of a digital radio system to provide reliable coverage across both Forest Reserves. The impact of the project has been impressive, with improved relationships with neighbouring communities and a decline in poaching. Human-elephant conflict is a growing threat and our current grant to WAG is testing different fencing deterrent methods along a 6km stretch of a steep-sided valley, including a beehive fence, flashing lights and CD discs hung on a wire.