How Your Support Is Protecting Endangered Sumatran Elephants

In just one generation, about 70% of the Sumatran elephant's habitat has been destroyed due to deforestation. 

There are only about 2,400-2,800 Sumatran elephants left in the world due to increasing rates of poaching and deforestation (World Wildlife Fund). More elephant herds are coming into contact with human settlements, and are often hurt or killed by people who view them as a threat. They are also poached for their tusks, which are sold in the ivory black market. In the long term, the remaining Sumatran elephant population may not survive in their current environment.

Because of generous donors like you, Greater Good Charities' Project Peril has granted funding to the International Elephant Foundation to protect the livelihoods of Sumatran elephants. The International Elephant Foundation supports Conservation Response Units in Sumatra, Indonesia to protect the lives of critically endangered Sumatran elephants. Their programs focus on habitat loss, wildlife rescue and care, human-wildlife conflict, and illegal wildlife trade.


Dugul, a single adult tuskless male, known by local communities

Photo © Margahayu CRU, Sumatra 

International Elephant Foundation contributes to animal conservation in Way Kambas National Park (WKNP) in southeastern Sumatra, which is home to many critically endangered species. Since 2004, the International Elephant Foundation has supported Conservation Response Units (CRU) in which government conservation staff detect and prevent illegal activities within the park. CRUs are made up of wildlife rangers, trained elephants, and their riders. They identify and ward off illegal activity such as forest fires, logging, cattle grazing, and the poaching of mammals, birds, and fish.

With your contributions, the Way Kambas Conservation Response Units has funding to pay for patrol supplies and CRU personnel’s wages. Here is just a snapshot of what they were able to do with your donations:

  • 235 forest patrols during the first 6 months of their project reporting period
  • 158 snares (animal traps) seized from 27 locations around the park
  • 58-night crop-guarding events to prevent elephants from ruining communities’ crops and getting injured by humans in the process.


Gading, a male elephant calf, with one of his mahout caretakers

Photo © Way Kambas CRU team 

Covid-19 has limited patrol budgets throughout Way Kambas National Park, leading to an increase in illegal activities. Covid’s effects on human life in Sumatra impacted the lives of animals as well. Because of the increasing rate of unemployment, people resorted to poaching animals illegally for profit. However, through 2020, the elephant population in Way Kambas has been relatively stable due to the CRU’s protection. 


Your donations to Project Peril help provide funding for patrol supplies and CRU personnel's wages, which keep the endangered Sumatran elephants safe in the park!