Asian Elephants

Asian Elephants

Behind the Cause

Across Asia elephants live in landscapes transformed and populated by humans. From India to Vietnam, roads and railways have cut across their traditional migratory routes. Tea and coffee plantations have replaced their forest homes. In the last fifty years, their population has been slashed in half and 90 percent of their habitat has vanished, leaving Asia’s 47,000 elephants mired in a sea of humanity. Meanwhile, poaching and a growing skin trade, along with the ever-escalating conflict between people and elephants for living space and food, are constant threats.


Founded in 2002 by the late adventurer and author Mark Shand and now led from London by Ruth Ganesh, Elephant Family funds wildly creative and effective conservation projects throughout Asia to help elephants and people coexist peacefully. These include reconnecting forest fragments to restore migratory paths while creating safe corridors for elephants to remain with their herds; rolling out alarm systems to alert villagers and farmers to elephants that have strayed too close; and fighting wildlife crime with tighter law enforcement.


A portion of Chantecaille’s proceeds will go towards reducing human-wildlife conflict in the farming communities of Valparai and Hassan, in India’s Southern Karnataka region. Here, conservationist Dr. Ananda Kumar has developed an early warning system that uses text messages and alert lights to signal to villagers that elephants have been spotted nearby, a program that has reduced human deaths from conflict to zero for two years running. Chantecaille’s support will maintain the running costs of these crucial, life-saving early warning systems, while also expanding them to cover new areas.