The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.
The International Affairs Program delivers this mission through its financial assistance
programs by supporting strategic projects that deliver measurable conservation results for priority species and their habitats around the world.African elephant (Genus:
Loxodonta) numbers in the wild have fallen from as many as 26 million individuals at the end of the 18th century to an estimated 415,000 today, due to poaching for ivory, habitat loss, and human-elephant conflict.
In 1988, the U. S. Congress passed the African Elephant Conservation Act in response to the alarming decline of African elephant populations.
The Act provides for the establishment of the African Elephant Conservation Fund to provide financial assistance in support of projects that will enhance sustainable conservation programs to ensure effective, long-term conservation of African elephants.
In 2021, the African elephant was re-classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) as two separate species, with the African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) now listed as “Critically Endangered” and the African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) listed as “Endangered” under the IUCN’s 2020 African elephant Red List Assessment.
The Service works closely with national governments, U. S. agencies, and a range of other partners to ensure a strategic, results-based approach to conservation of both elephant species across Africa’s 37 elephant range states.The goal of the Service’s African Elephant Conservation Fund Program is to ensure healthy African elephant populations in the wild, while improving pathways for human-elephant coexistence.
We achieve this through stewardship of a three-decade-old financial assistance program, convening and connecting partners, informing conservation decision making with technical expertise and data, and cultivating long-term partnerships and relationships with field projects and other key stakeholders across African elephant range states.