BIWFC supports projects that are aligned with the Institute’s mission to advance the use of effective, sustainable fertility control methods to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts and promote coexistence worldwide. Teresa M. Telecky, Ph.D., Vice President, Wildlife, Humane Society International received a BIWFC grant in 2021.
Elephant Immunocontraception Program: Affecting Policy Change in Africa.
African elephant managers often need to address growing elephant populations and look for science-based, humane solutions to address this.
To date, immunocontraception of elephants have successfully taken place in South Africa with 41 populations and > 1250 females on treatment. The Humane Society Internationalwill expand this work by using funds from this grant to apply this strategy in other African elephant range states.
Immunocontraception of an identified elephant population, through an initial and booster vaccination, together with the collaring of at least 2 herds of elephant in Year 1, will allow for monitoring of the first immunocontracepted elephants outside of South Africa. The NGO-funded field study marks an alternate population control method which aims to inform policy through a stakeholder analysis review process and also serve as a public education platform. This will be achieved through visitor assessments and surveys and stakeholder input designed with local management. By the end of Year 3 of the project, 100% reproductive control of the breeding females within the elephant population, with a long-term contraceptive plan will be established. With demonstrable effects on the identified elephant population’s s growth rate together with the extensive research already conducted in South African populations, we believe that similar contraceptive programs may be initiated more broadly throughout Africa.