Wild Elephant Ecology Program

GORONGOSA ELEPHANT ECOLOGY PROGRAM

DOMINIQUE GONÇALVES

DOMINIQUE GONÇALVES

Innovator

Manager, Gorongosa National Parks’ Elephant Ecology Program

Dominique Gonçalves, Manager of the Elephant Ecology Project in Gorongosa National Park (Mozambique), focuses on elephant ecology, human-elephant conflict, and conservation to build coexistence between communities and wildlife throughout the Gorongosa National Park buffer zone. Dominique is passionate about inspiring the next generation of women conservationists and works closely with Gorongosa’s “Girls’ Clubs” and local schools to inspire young girls to explore careers in science and conservation. In the above image Dominique is with girls from the community with a collared elephant. This picture was taken while the elephant was still asleep during a collaring operation.

COMING SOON

COMING SOON

Advocate

GOALS

Inspire the next generation of women conservationists and protect the elephant population in Gorongosa National Park.
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Goal 1: ELEPHANT MONITORING

The Elephant Ecology Project (EEP) will assess and monitor elephant populations in Gorongosa National Park via GPS satellite collars on ten matriarch elephants in the Park. Understanding the increase of the elephant population—in terms of their habitat use and spatial distribution—informs the Park’s management plan for the protection of this key ecological species. Elephants contribute greatly to the overall ecosystem health of the Park and, in turn, the Park delivers climate regulation benefits and resilience to climatic shocks like cyclones—both of which are critically important to the well-being of the elephants and people sharing the landscape.
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Goal 2: FOSTER HUMAN-ELEPHANT COEXISTENCE

With approx. 175,000 people living around Gorongosa National Park, many of them farmers, human-elephant conflict (HEC) has intensified in recent years, resulting in the destruction of crops by elephants. This poses a serious risk to people’s food and economic security—and puts elephants at greater risk of retaliation and illegal hunting. Using data from its elephant monitoring work, the EEP works to advance knowledge of the social-ecological dynamics of this shared landscape. This understanding is a core component of the Park’s Human-Elephant Coexistence program.
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Goal 3: GIRLS EDUCATION

The EEP engages members of the Park’s After-School Girls’ Clubs, created to keep girls in school and out of early marriage. By introducing these girls to women professionals working at Gorongosa National Park, the EEP hopes to inspire the girls to continue their education, and explore careers in science and conservation. Through this grant, the EEP will connect with over 2000 girls through 50 different Gorongosa National Park Girls’ Clubs in the surrounding communities.

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