African elephant data

African & Asian Elephant Database

 In 2009, the AfESG partnered with the Asian Elephant Specialist Group to build a joint database, the African & Asian Elephant Database (AAED). The AAED is now live, and the AfESG is working to update it with all the survey data received since the last African Elephant Status Report in 2007. 

The AAED is an Open Source software project, built by Solertium. Every aspect of the database is powered by free and open source software. If you are interested in joining this project, please visit the site to learn more.

The AAED allows you to:

We are very grateful to the European Commission, CITES MIKE, the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund of the USFWS, Tusk Trust, and Save The Elephants for their support of the development and ongoing maintenance of the AAED. 

We are also very grateful to all the wildlife authorities, NGOs, and independent researchers, too many to name here, who continue to send us their survey data for incorporation into the AAED.

AAED Donors Logos

History of the African Elephant Database

Centuries ago, the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) inhabited most of the African continent. Today, elephants are found only south of the Sahara and their range is fragmented and discontinuous. As a result of this range loss and fragmentation, along with poaching of elephants for ivory, elephant numbers declined across the continent. By the 1980s, the decline had provoked serious concern about the long-term survival of the species. This concern highlighted the need to monitor and report the continent-wide status of elephant populations.

The African Elephant Database (AED) aims to satisfy that need. It is a collaborative effort between conservation agencies and researchers in the 37 states that make up the present range of the African elephant. Information on elephant distribution and abundance is gathered by field surveys and questionnaires, and stored in a database using a Geographical Information System (GIS), along with information on other factors such as vegetation type, cover and protected area boundaries. With the African elephant facing increasing pressure from a variety of threats, monitoring elephant range and numbers provides wildlife managers with invaluable data for the effective conservation and management of remaining populations, and decision-makers with information on which to base national and international policies relevant to elephant conservation.

The AED is unique in its capacity to accommodate data of variable reliability - from estimates obtained through systematic total counts to "guesstimates". 

Comprehensive African Elephant Status Reports (AESR) are produced and published every three to five years.