First Advisor

Amy Schreier

Thesis Committee Member(s)

Amy Schreier, Lara Narcisi


Tyler Imfeld


Regis College

Degree Name


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Number of Pages

85 pages


Over the past few centuries, there has been a serious decline in elephant and rhinoceros’ populations on the African continent. No matter the species, the drop in habitat range and population size has been drastic. This decline has ultimately been caused by the increase in the human population. Whether it be habitat fragmentation, habitat loss, or poaching, humans have had a direct impact on the forest and savanna elephant, and the black and white rhinoceros. While the relationship between these animals and the human population started as one founded in respect and reverence, the human need for land and resources has turned elephants and rhinoceroses into pests and problems. Many current conservation techniques for these species do not take this complex relationship into account. Modern conservation tactics focus strictly on the wellbeing of the animal and do not encourage comradery between the African human populations that interact with these animals daily. Moving forward, it is vital for the success of conservation that these tactics encourage support and involvement of the African communities in elephant and rhinoceros range areas. In non-elephant and rhinoceros range countries, education, funding, and government policy should be used to uplift and inspire the proper conservation tactics involving the African communities in the elephant and rhinoceros range areas.

Date of Award

Spring 2024

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colo.