Communication Skills as a Wildlife Conservation Tool

November 13, 2014    |    Steve Mandel
Recently, I traveled to Kenya on behalf of Mandel to conduct a joint training workshop for people who work with the wildlife conservation organizations Ewaso Lions, Grevy's Zebra Trust, and Save the Elephants — all member organizations of the Wildlife Conservation Network.


The wild African lion, African elephant, and Grevy's Zebra are vanishing.

Consider these facts: Every year, more than 33,000 African elephants are killed. During the past 40 years, two-thirds of wild lions have disappeared. Today, there are fewer than 2,500 Grevy’s Zebras left on earth.

Two baby African elephants in Kenya ® 2014, Steve Mandel
Image © 2014, Steve Mandel, All Rights Reserved 


All of these creatures could be extinct within 20 years – due to poaching, over-hunting, and competition for resources.

The work of wildlife conservation organizations is critical to their continuing survival.

The organizations I worked with in Kenya focus a lot of their conservation efforts on global education, outreach, and collaboration with governments and local people. And, the success of their efforts depends on their ability to communicate exceptionally well.
Grevy's Zebra in Kenya © 2014, Steve Mandel
Image © 2014, Steve Mandel, All Rights Reserved 

One of the trainings took place in the airiest conference room I’ve ever had the pleasure to work in — four wooden posts and a thatched roof.


The setting may have been different. The food was different. The context was definitely different.  Despite these differences, the training went as well as programs we’ve run for the world’s largest corporations.   

Wildlife conservation is a cause near and dear to my heart. It was my honor to be able to do this work for these organizations. 

At the end of the workshop, participants told me what they’d learned will help them save the lives of endangered animals, as well as the livelihoods of the people who live in those communities. When I heard that, I beamed from ear to ear.

African lions staring into camera © 2014 Steve Mandel
Image © 2014, Steve Mandel, All Rights Reserved  

Just as it is for many of you, it’s especially gratifying for us at Mandel when we can contribute the same skills we offer our corporate clients to smaller non-profits, or communities of individuals who might not otherwise have access.  

If you'd like to learn more about Ewaso Lions, Grevy's Zebra Trust, or Save the Elephants, I invite you to visit the Wildlife Conservation Network online at www.wildnet.org.  


Steve Mandel with baby African elephant © 2014, Carol Foote
Image © 2014, Carol Foote, All Rights Reserved.

 

Cover image of wild male African lion ® 2014 Steve Mandel. All Rights Reserved.