At one time, elephants spread from Africa's Cape of Good Hope to Cairo and probably numbered in the tens of millions. Today, fewer than 610,000 remain. This precipitous decline is largely due to human encroachment upon their habitats and well-armed ivory poachers who decimated populations in the 1970s and '80s.
Lorivi Ole Moirana is Chief Park Warden, Law Enforcement Operations, Tanzania National Parks and a highly effective anti-poaching activist. While head warden of Ruaha National Park from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, Moirana was responsible for shutting down some of the most extensive elephant poaching in the country, and his current duties include management of the park system's anti-poaching unit. Moirana has also been active in expanding Tanzania's national parks as a means to protect their remarkable plant and animal life. As chief warden of Kilimanjaro National Park from 1997 to 2001, Moirana convinced the Tanzanian government to expand the park boundary below the tree line to incorporate its distinct forest habitat, which had been subject to illegal logging. Through his passionate efforts, the park is considered a showpiece of wilderness management and conservation. In 2002 Moirana was one of two people honored with the first National Geographic Society/Buffett Award for Leadership in African Conservation.