One of the world’s foremost authorities on the African elephant, Iain Douglas-Hamilton pioneered the first in-depth scientific study of elephant social behaviour in Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park at age 23. He received a D Phil in zoology from Oxford University for the work. During the 1970s he investigated the status of elephants throughout Africa and was the first to alert the world to the ivory poaching holocaust.
He chronicled how Africa’s elephant population was halved between 1979 and 1989 and helped bring about the world ivory trade ban. His chief research interest is to understand elephant choices by studying their movements, and for his work on elephants he was awarded one of conservation’s highest awards the Order of the Golden Ark in 1988.
Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton and his wife Oria have co-authored two award-winning books, Among the Elephants and Battle for the Elephants and have made numerous television films. He founded Save the Elephants (www.savetheelephants.org ) in 1993 at the suggestion of Felix Appelbe in order to create an effective and flexible NGO dedicated specifically to elephants. On May 24th, 2012, Dr. Douglas-Hamilton spoke before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Ivory and Insecurity: The Global Implications of Poaching in Africa.
Speaking Up for Elephants