Based in United States

Trunks & Leaves Inc

A Non-profit

How This Works

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Organization Details

Our mission is to raise awareness about Asian elephants and their habitats, locally and globally, compiling resources and tools for education, research and conservation. ​Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are large-brained, long-lived keystone species that modify and 'engineer' their landscapes in ways that affect countless animal and plant communities. Asian elephants and humans have lived side-by-side for thousands of years. Yet today they are classified as Endangered under the IUCN Red List of threatened species. We share a common fate with the wildlife on our planet and the future depends on what we do now. We envision a world in which elephants and people can peacefully flourish side-by-side on a rich, biodiverse landscape that meets all our needs. We study elephants to understand the animal, we study people to understand the challenges they face, and we work on solutions to meet the needs of both.

Support Needs

We’re looking to improve our website messaging with:

CrowdfundingDesign (Web or Print)FundraisingOnline Marketing andWeb Design

We’re looking to improve our new business development with:

AccountingBusiness StrategyEntrepreneurshipFundraising andImpact Investing

We’re looking to improve our legal & liability position with:

Human ResourcesLegalNonprofit Operations andStrategy

Impact Story

We are proponents of evidence-based conservation: meaning that we believe in designing conservation policies and interventions on the basis of rigorously collected data. We continue to be the only research-based conservation nonprofit dedicated protecting wild Asian elephants and their habitats. Our flagship program is the Udawalawe Elephant Research Project based in Sri Lanka, the longest-running research project for wild Asian elephants and ongoing since 2006. Locally, it has provided guidance for management practices and legal decisions. Internationally, the pioneering studies being conducted are revising our understanding of this species, and serve as the basis for conservation policies and practice throughout Asia.

Our complementary program which started in 2017, the Coexistence Project, seeks to understand the needs and challenges of the human communities that live with elephants. So-called human-elephant conflict driven by habitat loss and land use conversion is the primary threat to Asian elephants, and a tremendous burden for rural farmers. Our work studies the issues from the ecological, socioeconomic and psychological dimensions so that we can develop sustainable livelihood solutions through experimentation. Our goal is to work with communities to develop sustainable alternative agricultural products that are resilient to elephants as well as climate change. Working with partners in other countries, we aim to replicate and scale successful models. In parallel, we support communities we work with by providing educational and other resources. Our focal communities represent households with median incomes of $2/day per adult, and thus we aim to serve both people and wildlife that have the greatest need. Between 2018-2019 we supported 18 pre-schools with over $8000 in resources.