Ivory Belongs to Elephants

Boots on the Ground for Elephants: An Ivory Belongs to Elephants Story

   The fight to save our remaining elephants has come to the US. Just days before 1 ton of ivory was seized in New York (story below), Jim Justus Nyamu arrived in the US from his home in Kenya to walk with volunteers 560 miles from Massachusetts to Washington DC, finishing his lecture and educational tour at the International March for Elephants on October 4, 2013 in DC. He is proof that boots on the ground, hard work, and dedication starts with a single voice that is growing into song.
  Not only is Jim speaking at several colleges and events in his Ivory Belongs to Elephants campaign. he even set up shop at a local market in Pennsylvania to educate shoppers about the critical need to save our wild elephants that are being poached to extinction.
  Jim is co-founder of the Elephant Neighbours Center  located in Kenya. Through his vast knowledge and experience in the field, he has a 15-year history of educating the public, students, and top officials on the world stage about conservation and what he believes is the true fuel behind the poaching fire. Jim told me that poaching pays a high wage for the residents in impoverished communities in countries across Africa. He explained that these communities need education and funds to learn about and work in the conservation industry, a sorely needed effort on the continent of Africa. It would seem as if the people who live with the elephants would view them as majestic beings and know exactly how and why elephants need protection. Not the case, says Jim. A global effort is required to stop elephants from becoming extinct in as little as 10 years.
  As important, Jim indicated that elephants can be destructive to crops. Human-elephant conflict has been a problem without a solid solution for centuries. Jim teaches about ways to improve relations between farmers and the herds of elephants that also enjoy the fruits of human labor. He proposes solutions and teaches the masses the truth, the demand for action, and the hope that the safety and security of the elephants are secured.
  Jim Nyamu calls Americans into action through his campaign that spans an entire month from September 3- October 4, 2013. He has quite the task in forming public opinion. We Americans are so far away from the elephant crisis that we easily forget that their ancestors roamed our lands and been on this earth for 50 million years.
  Join this leader, grass roots educator, representative of the elephants through a contribution, fundraiser, your own walk, or on his walk by visiting: Visit the Facebook Page. For media inquiries contact: or Jim Nyamu directly.

East Africa Photo Safari 2014

Capture Africa Tours Capture the Essence of Africa with Tour Leaders Dick Berry and Joseph Ndunguru. JOIN US FOR A JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME!

• Experience the “Land of the Giants” home to over 1000 approachable elephants in Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Parks.

• Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for a private viewing of rescued orphaned elephants and Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) for educational lecture.

• Maximum of 10 participants on the tour with only 3-4 people per vehicle to assure the space you need for yourself and your equipment.

• See elephants, giraffes, zebras, cheetah, lions, and impala in their natural habitat with a majestic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.

ENGAGE YOUR SENSES and LEARN from your experienced guides.

LEARN about the area and wildlife from a native Tanzanian with 20 years of experience in studying native wildlife and giving educational tours.

CAPTURE memories through the lens and learn how to create and enhance your photographs with a 20 year veteran professional photographer who is passionate about wildlife and conservation.

June 25 – July 4 2014

Tour Limited to 10 Participants so SIGN UP NOW! ONLY 2 SPOTS ARE AVAILABLE!

Learn more at Land of the Giants


Panthera’s mission is to ensure the future of wild cats through scientific leadership and global conservation action.

Panthera has brought together the world’s leading wild cat experts to direct and implement effective conservation strategies for the world’s largest and most endangered cats: tigers, lions, jaguars and snow leopards. Our approach to wild cat conservation is rooted in science and based upon decades of first hand field experience.

We seek a future in which the world’s 37 wild cat species have the necessary and ongoing protection from human and environmental threats to persist and thrive in the wild. Our vision sees endangered wild cat populations rebounded, critical habitats and core populations connected by genetic and biological corridors, and a global commitment to protect these iconic species through near and distant futures.

Learn more about specific Panthera programs designed to protect the world’s endangered wild cats. Download Panthera’s Fact Sheet.

Why Protect Wild Cats?
Some of the greatest species to ever roam the planet are threatened with extinction.

Panthera focuses on saving wild cat species across the globe because this is a winning strategy for conserving large, functioning ecosystems on which they depend, and contain thousands of species of plants and animals. Cats act as landscape guardians and their presence indicates healthy, intact ecosystems that are crucial for all life, including people. While Panthera’s efforts are focused on saving wild cats, the impacts go far beyond.
You Can Make a Difference
Panthera is dedicated to ensuring a future for the wild cats of the world. With our team of experts, we conduct the best possible science, and convert scientific data into effective and relevant conservation action. But we cannot do this alone, and rely on people like you who share in our vision. When you give to Panthera, 100% of your donation goes directly to the field, where it matters most.

To learn more about how Panthera is working to save the world’s wild cats please visit the links below. If you have any questions about cat conservation, wish to check a fact, or speak to an expert, please contact: or + 1 (646) 786-0400.

Letter from the Chairman
Panthera is a special breed of conservation organization. Subscribing fully to Edward R. Murrow’s observation that ‘difficulty’ is the one excuse which history does not accept, our single-minded pursuit is nothing less than to define all the key hurdles facing wild cat conservation globally and, in tandem with our strategic partners, to channel efficiently and quickly the financial and intellectual capital required to meet those challenges comprehensively.

ATE Fundraiser


Tom Mangelsen is hosting along with his friend Mary Robertson a fundraiser for Cynthia Moss who started the Amboseli Trust for Elephants in southern Kenya.
This fundrasier will take place at his gallery in Jackson Hole, WY and his prints along with friends who recently spent 3 weeks in Africa with Tom will also have their work up for auction.

The following participants have donated photographic prints available for auction:
Kent Nelson, Dick Berry, Tom Ocasek, Bonnie Burgess, Diana Robinson, Andy Dyson, Andy Wolcott and a hand painted silk scarf by Sue Cedarholm.
So stop by, spend some money, and all your money will go to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants so Cynthia Moss can continue to do here research and help preserve one of the most important species on this planet.
Below is a detailed description of the event and what Cynthia Moss actually does for the ATE.

HISTORY | In 1968, Cynthia Moss made the life-changing decision to move to Africa to study elephants in northern Tanzania. Four years later, teaming up with Harvey Croze, she found ideal conditions for studying elephants in Amboseli National Park, a protected area of 150 square miles in southern Kenya. Thus began what was to become the longest running African elephant field research project in the world. Her studies of more than 2,000 elephants (1,400 still living) in their natural habitat are the most comprehensive ever undertaken.

Cynthia Moss and Vida, 1991 | Ensuring the survival of the elephant in today’s Africa is an increasingly complex problem. The ivory trade – legal and illegal – and the tremendous increase in human population in Africa have taken a serious toll.

In 1979, there were estimated to be 1.3 million elephants in Africa; ten years later, there were only about 600,000. In Kenya alone, the elephant population plummeted from 130,000 in 1973 to less than 20,000 in 1989, a loss of 85%. The reason for this catastrophic decline: the ivory trade. The combination of growing human populations and resulting loss of wildlife habitat has exacerbated wildlife-human conflict, creating yet another threat to the future of the elephant.

The elephant population in Amboseli National Park is one of the few that has been able to live a relatively undisturbed existence in natural conditions. This rare situation is primarily due to two factors – the presence of researchers and tourists in the park, and the support of the local Masai people.

With low levels of poaching, the Amboseli elephant population has been increasing slowly since the late 1970s. Amboseli is, therefore, one of the few places in Africa where the elephant age structure has not been drastically skewed and the population spans the whole range from newborn calves to old matriarchs in their 60s and, even more unusual, many large adult bulls in their 40s and 50s.

Realistic solutions to the problems facing Africa’s elephants can be developed only with the help of comprehensive long-term research studies. Studies in Amboseli have provided unique and critical information on elephant birth rates, death rates, ranging patterns and nutritional needs, illuminated by analyses of their underlying determining factors. But the studies have also revealed much more: that elephants communicate at a very sophisticated level; that they celebrate birth, have lifelong friendships and appear to mourn the death of family members. Research has shown them to be highly intelligent with the ability to reason and problem solve and has provided a window into their complex social structure.

These discoveries made in Amboseli have altered the way in which conservationists approach the management of elephant populations. What was once viewed as just a herd must now be respected as a family. What was once seen as ivory on the hoof must be recognized as a matriarch whose accumulated knowledge can keep her family alive in times of drought or famine. The magnificent bull with 100-pound tusks is a prime breeder who should be passing on his genes for health and longevity, not gracing the trophy room of a sport hunter.

Since its inception in 1972, Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP) has monitored the Amboseli elephants, collecting data on all births, deaths, sightings and behavior, and has assembled identity records for each of the elephants in the population. This represents a wealth of data made possible only by such a long-term study of a relatively undisturbed, free-ranging population of African elephants.

Today, as a result, AERP is the critical source of baseline data on elephants. Learn more at

The following participants have donated photographic prints available for auction:
Kent Nelson, Dick Berry, Tom Ocasek, Bonnie Burgess, Diana Robinson, Andy Dyson, Andy Wolcott and a hand painted silk scarf by Sue Cedarholm.

The Baobab Tree

Baobab Tree

Adansonia digitata, or Baobab tree is a strange looking tree that grows in low-lying areas in Africa and Australia. The Baobab is also called the upside-down tree because when bare of leaves, the spreading branches of the Baobab look like roots sticking up into the air, as if it had been planted upside-down. Legend holds that god Thora took a dislike to the Baobab growing in his garden, so he threw it out over the wall of Paradise on to Earth below, and although the tree landed upside-down it continued to grow. Another story goes that when the Baobab was planted by God, it kept walking, so God pulled it up and replanted it upside down to stop it moving.

The Baobab can grow to enormous sizes reaching heights of 5 to 30 meters and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 meters. One African Baobab specimen in Limpopo Province, South Africa, is often considered the largest example alive. Up to recent times the tree had a circumference of 47 meters – its diameter is estimated at about 15.9 meters. Recently the tree split up into two parts and it is possible that the stoutest tree now is Sunland Baobab, also in South Africa with a diameter of 10.64 m and approximate circumference of 33.4 meters. Baobabs are also reputed to be many thousands of years old.

The baobab is highly regarded by African people because all of its parts can be utilized in some capacity. In addition to being an important source of timber, the trunks are often hollowed out by people who use them for shelter, grain storage or as water reservoirs. The hollowed trunks also serve as burial sites. Some of the most important products come from the bark of the tree, which contains a fiber that is used to make fishnets, cords, sacks and clothing. The bark can also be ground into a powder for flavoring food. The leaves of the baobab were traditionally used for leaven but are also used as a vegetable. Its fruits and seeds are also edible for humans and animals. The pulp of the fruit, when dried and mixed with water, makes a beverage that tastes similar to lemonade. The seeds, which taste like cream of tartar and are a valuable surce of vitamin C, were traditionally pounded into meal when other food was scarce. Other products such as soap, necklaces, glue, rubber, medicine and cloth can be produced from the various parts of the baobab tree.