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Meet Dr. Anna Songhurst

Field and Program Director for Ecoexist Trust

  • Featuring:
  • Dr. Anna Songhurst
  • Published:
  • 21 May 2019
  • Featuring:
  • Dr. Anna Songhurst
  • Published:
  • 21 May 2019
Dr. Anna Songhurst - Rise of the Matriarch

Dr. Anna Songhurst is Field and Program Director for Ecoexist Trust in Botswana, who is doing challenging work to mitigate daily human-wildlife conflict in this area.

Anna is a conservation biologist who conducted her Ph.D. study on the “Competition between people and elephants in the Okavango Panhandle, Botswana” and has been conducting research in Botswana for the past eleven years in this field.
Botswana is known as the land of elephants. With a population of close to 200,000 elephants, the country claims the largest free-roaming population on the planet. This area is remote, sparsely populated, and lacks access to the kinds of services, markets, and opportunities available elsewhere in the nation, which makes living here extremely challenging. There is also a constant day-to-day struggle between the people living in this area and the wildlife, particularly elephants, as they compete for space and resources
I would say to anyone thinking about doing a job that’s quite challenging or maybe isn’t seen as a woman’s job – Don’t listen to other people. You need to follow your dream and then you can make things happen.
- Dr. Anna Songhurst

Dr. Songhurst has been living and working with the communities in the eastern panhandle, specifically investigating community perception towards elephants and human-elephant conflict, recording data on elephant distribution and habitat use, and collecting independent primary data on spatial and temporal patterns of elephant crop-raiding.

From consultations and coordinating workshops, Anna has established networks and working relationships with a variety of stakeholders involved in human-wildlife conflict management and in particular human-elephant conflict issues in Botswana. Through her work and passion, Anna is playing a key role in ensuring the peaceful co-existence of humans and wildlife.

Anna has faced many challenges because she is a woman, working in this leadership role. After meeting Anna and talking to her about how she has persevered and overcome these challenges, we all came away feeling inspired and motivated and just really in awe of women like Anna who are breaking new ground despite having so much working against them.

Watch our film to hear more of Anna’s story.

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Learn more about the incredibly important and complex topic of human-wildlife conflict.

Dr. Anna Songhurst - Rise of the Matriarch

Meet Dr. Anna Songhurst

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