Protecting a future for wildlife and people

Human-elephant conflict is on the rise. Together we can prevent it.

Wild Survivors is a UK Registered charity focused on preventing human-elephant conflict (HEC) in East Africa. We aim to build healthy coexistence between people and elephants with scalable long-term solutions which directly benefit communities and restore wild spaces. In partnership with PAMS Foundation we are establishing a proven solution to HEC, with the installation of beehive fences with communities who live in close proximity to crop-raiding elephants.

The projects combine community beekeepers’ training and beehive fences, with bee and elephant guardianship roles within our field team.  To expand this working model, we are introducing new project activities in biofuel and permaculture techniques. The new initiatives improve food security and farming practices, while also protecting forest and wildlife habitat.

BEEHIVE FENCES

This innovative solution is based on the elephant’s innate fear of bees. Fencing farm plots with beehives suspended from strong wire on tree posts, creates a living, natural boundary which elephants will avoid. This solution was developed by Dr Lucy King in Kenya with Save the Elephants (STE). Lucy continues to offer her support and guidance to our project. STE’s Elephants and Bees’ project has achieved an incredible 80% reduction in crop raids.

With our donor-funded beehives, we are installing a protective line of peacekeeping bees, cared for by the farmers, who complete a course in beekeeping. The bees provide an alternative income to villagers, through the sale of honey and wax, helping to make the project scalable and sustainable. As well as protecting crops from raids, bees also boost crop yield and forest health through cross-pollination. By protecting farms and pacifying the conflict, the beehive fences are improving village perceptions towards elephants. 

Beehives are installed within farm boundaries, and by doing so, the natural solution to crop-raiding also prevents encroachment of farmland onto natural habitat, preserving wildlife migration areas.

Beehives are needed to span the affected land in Upper Kitete, across a 1.75km stretch, to protect 15 farm plots.

In Sangaiwe Village, a fence length of 5km is required to form a protective barriera around farmland bordering Tarangire National Park.

How you can help:

Beehives needed for Upper Kitete fence: 85 (95 currently funded).
Beehives required for Sangaiwe Village fence: 250

£64 – to sponsor a beehive.
£76 – pays for one month of beehive fence managment and maintenance by our Field Team 

BEEKEEPER TRAINING

With on-going support from our Wild Champions and Conservation partners, we provide community members with a practical beekeeping course prior to beehive fence installation. This equips farmers with the confidence, skills and knowledge to manage their hives effectively, and with a focus on bee welfare. Surplus wax and honey is only harvested once bee colonies are well-established, to ensure continued hive occupation.

Our monthly donors provide ongoing support to new beekeepers through the employment of Herment Lusian, a highly experienced beekeeper in the village. Herment was nominated by the community to be the Chairperson of the Upper Kitete beekeepers’ group. He supports the farmers by addressing beekeeping challenges, providing on-site training, and overseeing the harvesting of honey and wax.

How you can help:
£785 – Funds the annual services for our beekeeping expert and his transportation to reach the farms and fence.

£80 – Pays for a beekeeping kit for a farmer which includes a canvas bee suit with veil, metal smoker, bee tools, leather gloves and gum boots.

ELEPHANT & BEE GUARDIANS

Bee Guardians are proactive members of the community recruited by Wild Survivors to fulfil essential supportive roles for the beehive fence and forest protection activities. They complete training in beekeeping, and have previous interests or education in natural resources, or agriculture. Bee Guardians form a vital part of our field team operations, maintaining the beehive fence, managing the harvesting of honey and wax along the fence line, and working closely with our Data, Research and Project Coordinators.

Our partners, PAMS Foundation, introduced a highly successful Elephant Guardian programme, which we are raising funds to support. Elephant Guardians are responsible for elephant and wildlife corridor monitoring, community liaison and data collection. They have earned great respect from their community, and seen first-hand the positive impact they make on environmental conservation and local livelihoods.

The guardianship positions provide opportunities for younger members of the community to advance onto future employment, within Wild Survivors and PAMS, and beyond to National Parks, or anti-poaching taskforces.

How you can help:
£35 – monthly supports a Bee Guardian with their field duties.
£249 – funds a camera trap for vital data collection and elephant monitoring.

BIOFUEL FOREST PROTECTION

Tanzania has lost 38% of its forest cover over the past three decades. The country’s deforestation rate is twice that of the world rate, with 400,000ha depleted annually. The illegal timber trade, demand for firewood, and agricultural expansion are fragmenting habitat with a third of biodiverse ecosystems lost in the last 30 years. This results in increased conflict between wildlife and people, and undermines livelihoods affecting 80% of Tanzanians.

Local communities need firewood and charcoal to heat their homes, cook, and boil water. It is basic survival that many of us take for granted. We are working with communities to introduce a new and sustainable fuel source.

Simple bio digesters store cattle manure and discarded vegetable products, both of which expel methane into the atmosphere. Methane is four times more damaging than carbon, so we capture it instead. The gas is funnelled through a pipe and into the home, where a flame is tapped. After several weeks in the digester, the by-product is fertiliser for the farm. Women in the community are responsible for firewood and can often travel up to five hours a day during dawn and dusk to collect wood in the neighbouring wildlife corridor. This can be a dangerous task because elephants will use the same corridor to travel to and from the Crater forest in the morning and at nightfall. Our Biofuel initiative means women in the village can put their safety first, reducing the threat to both elephants and people. The time saved by using biofuel at home allows women to explore new livelihood activities such as permaculture, a technique which improves soil quality, crop diversity, and also benefits habitat protection.