IUCN COMMISSION GROUP

IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group

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Overview and description

Description:
The IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) is a global network of over 95 technical experts dedicated to promoting long - term conservation of Africa’s two elephant species, the critically ...

The IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group (AfESG) is a global network of over 95 technical experts dedicated to promoting long - term conservation of Africa’s two elephant species, the critically endangered African forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the endangered African savannah elephant (Loxodonta africana) through their range. Both species have been declining at continental level due to poaching for their ivory tusks, habitat degradation, the complexities of land use changes leading to challenges in human elephant co - existence. Yet these two keystone species provide invaluable ecological benefits for the forested and grassland landscapes that they inhabit, including seed dispersal, maintenance of savannah - forest mosaics, ground water availability and carbon sequestration (e.g., Berzaghi et al 2019) and socio - economic benefits in instances as well. As such, their conservation is more critical than ever but also complex given significant regional variation in elephant numbers, management, threats and benefits.

Group leadership

Dr Benson Okita OUMA

Co-Chair

Prof Robert SLOTOW

Co-Chair
Rob Slotow is Professor at University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, and Honorary Professor at University College London. Rob focuses on applied research that can be translated into practical ...
Rob Slotow is Professor at University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, and Honorary Professor at University College London. Rob focuses on applied research that can be translated into practical solutions, working on conservation of large mammals, biogeography of invertebrates, land-use planning for environmental sustainability, and environmental contribution to achieving SDGs. He leads large, transdisciplinary projects, including the Durban Research Action Partnership, with Ethekwini Municipality (DRAP), and the Wellcome funded Sustainable and Healthy Food Systems project (SHEFS). DRAP undertakes co-developed, co-implemented work to enhance sustainable environmental decision-making and development decisions in the face of climate change. SHEFS examines the agriculture, environment, poverty and health nexus, focusing on resource poor communities in the rural, per-urban, and informal urban settings around Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

Dr Kathleen Schuyler GOBUSH

Red List Authority Coordinator

Kathleen S. Gobush, PhD has worked toward recovering endangered species across the globe for the last 25 years. Since 2017, she has been member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group, it’s Red ...

Kathleen S. Gobush, PhD has worked toward recovering endangered species across the globe for the last 25 years. Since 2017, she has been member of the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group, it’s Red List Authority Coordinator and more recently its CITES Focal Point. Kathleen pursues and publishes original research on terrestrial and marine mammals that bridges wildlife science, protection and emerging technology.  She holds an Affiliate faculty position at the University of Washington –Biology and lives with her family in Seattle, Washington, USA.

At a glance

Official name:
IUCN SSC African Elephant Specialist Group
Associated Commissions: