This is no longer the current, official web site of the trust. It is an older, no longer maintained version, kept only for historic reasons. The current web site is here.

Amboseli Trust for Elephants

The Amboseli Elephant Research Project is the longest study of wild elephants in the world. We work to understand the lives and ensure the future of 1,500 elephants in the Amboseli ecosystem fed by the waters of Kilimanjaro.

Leticia nearing her end

Fri, 2008-11-07 09:39 by ssayialel · Forum/category:
Leticia feeding alone in the swamp Leticia

Leticia is a matriarch of the LB family, born in the early 1940's. She had her first calf, Luke, a male, born in 1966 and her last-born, Leo, born in 1995. Leticia is recorded to have given birth to seven calves, of which two died and five are still alive. As an Elephant at this age, the current drought in Amboseli National Park and the entire ecosystem is proving to be tough for Leticia. Elephants are adapted to a life of foraging; feeding approximately 60% of a 24-hour day they consume 150-350 kg, or four to six percent of their body weight.

Pizaro's musth period: a bad timing?

Sat, 2008-10-18 09:02 by nnjiraini · Forum/category:
Pizaro mud splashing

Musth in Elephants is a period of heightened sexual and aggressive activity characterized by a distinct posture, the musth walk, swollen and secreting temporal glands, the dribbling of strong smelling urine and very low frequency vocalizations, the musth rumble. The point at which males come into musth during the year, how long they can remain in musth, and the numbers of females in estrus around while they are in musth, all contribute to a male’s annual success or failure.

Odile’s trauma strikes again

Sun, 2008-10-12 12:54 by ssayialel · Forum/category:
Odile guarding her dying calf Odile with spears in 2004

Odile, now in her early 40’s, is estimated to have been born in the 1960’s and is the current matriarch of the OB family. Today the OB family totals to 16 members, with Ottoline [Odile's daughter, born in 1982], being the second oldest female. In 2004 Odile went through a tragic experience when her 2002 male, [two years old calf] was speared by Maasai warriors in Amboseli National Park due to retaliation for reasons which were never comprehended. Not only did Odile lose her calf, she also suffered severe head injuries from spears embedded in her forehead when she was found.

Little Male speared

Sun, 2008-10-12 09:40 by ssayialel · Forum/category:
Little Male with pals Little Male carrying the spear

Cynthia Moss, the founder of the Amboseli Elephant Research project, first met the EBs in August 1973. Little male, born in 1968, was son to Emily, a female of the EB family group. By 1983 Little Male was spending less than 20% of his time with the family and thus by our definition he was considered independent. He first came in musth on the 6th June 1999 and has been active since then.

Little male spends most of his time in the Eastern side outside the Amboseli National Park, where conflict is very high due to farming. This year he has been recorded in musth from June to August.

Laikipia Scouts Training

Wed, 2008-09-24 13:50 by nnjiraini
Aging using lower jaws under supervision of Soila and Norah Robert talking to the scouts

The Amboseli Elephant Research Project has over the past years and still trains scouts from different areas all over Kenya thus extending our expertise on Elephant conservation. Amboseli is uniquely suitable place for the training as it is a protected area with an undisturbed population of wildlife. The training aims at increasing the skills of elephant conservation all over Kenya and Africa in general.

Some of the knowledge extended are covered in the below listed areas

  • Identifying the Elephants (sexing, aging, foot prints)
  • Recording data's – filling data sheets

Ramon in musth

Sat, 2008-08-30 13:52 by ssayialel · Forum/category:
Ramon approaching from behind Ramon after passing me

Musth bulls leave bull areas and move after female herds seeking out receptive females in oestrous. Receptive females are fought for, enter into consort and guarded by musth bulls. A fight sometimes is imminent when two musth bulls encounter each other having the same characteristics.

Kalume, a beautiful Amboseli bull

Sat, 2008-08-30 09:28 by nnjiraini · Forum/category:
kalume (0271)

He is a 43 years old bull born in 1965 and one of the best known and studied bulls by the Amboseli Elephant Research Project. Now at 43, he is a fully mature male Elephant and at his prime. A couple of big notches on his left rugged ear are easy marks for his identification but that is not what gets your attention when one encounters a bull of Kalume's beauty. His tusks are a thing to be adored, they are huge, well proportioned and just about the best you would ever find on any African Elephant. Elephant tusks are a mark of their beauty.

Early Warning in Amboseli: It's going to be a 'bad' year.

Thu, 2008-06-19 07:08 by hcroze · Forum/category:

Cattle in park

Human-wildlife conflict is increasing everywhere: human populations burgeon; land use changes erode natural ecosystems. Conflict escalates when sporadic natural events dramatically reduce the availability of food and water for people and animals alike. Long term monitoring and ecosystem surveillance by the Amboseli Elephant Research Project provides early warning of impending natural deficits and alert us to the need for short-term responses to defuse clashes. 2007-08 is likely to be a bad year in Amboseli.

What's a 'bad' year?

Harvey Croze, Soila Sayialel and Keith Lindsay reply …

An Even Bigger Surprise

Tue, 2008-06-17 08:29 by cmoss
Winston, Emily Kate, Esprit and Echo

I followed the progress of Emily Kate’s oestrus over the next two days. Echo stayed with her the whole time. The biggest male with them was Winston in full musth. He kept close to them but at one point he turned and moved off to go to the swamp. Echo immediately followed him with Emily Kate right behind her. This was a wise move on Echo’s part because it is at such times that the younger, less desirable, males rush in and start chasing the oestrous female. Old, experienced Echo wasn’t going to let that happen.

Successful Training Session for Maasai Elephant Scouts

Sun, 2008-06-15 09:18 by hcroze · Forum/category:
Robert talks to Scouts Harvey & Patrick do maps

A four-day training session was held at ERC (Elephant Research Camp) in Amboseli for thirteen of our Maasai Elephant Scouts between 9 and 13 June 2008.

The Scouts extend ATE's presence in the ecosystem, beyond the boundaries of the relatively tiny Amboseli National Park. While recording signs of elephant's presence, they also provide early warning of community concerns. And, by the very fact of their employment (thanks to donor money leveraged by ATE), they serve as goodwill ambassadors for elephants and wildlife in general.