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There is about 6,000+ Asian elephants left in Sri Lanka and they are listed by the IUCN as 'Endangered' and by CITES as a species threatened with extinction. The main threats they face in Sri Lanka are habitat loss due to clearing of forest for subsistence agriculture, mega development projects, poaching for ivory, illegal capture and retribution killing for raiding crops. Through our Saving Elephants by Helping People Project we are striving to make elephants more valuable to the local communities alive rather than dead, by engaging, training and paying locals to be involved in their conservation together with scientists and volunteers and by developing a sustainable tourism program in the area. By engaging and working with locally recruited and trained field assistants the volunteers help to send a strong conservation message to the local communities to value and protect their environment and wildlife.