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"When it comes to helping out, I don't believe in doing it for the media attention. My goal is to support the organizations that need help.”

Paul G. Allen, 1953 – 2018

Paul Allen pictured in 2014. Courtesy of Vulcan Inc. Photo by Beatrice de Gea.
Frankfurt Zoological Society has learnt with great sadness of the death of Paul G. Allen on Monday 15th of October. His achievements were many but his contributions to conservation in Africa in bringing together philanthropy and technology to support practical solutions have been particularly remarkable.

Paul Allen’s support for conservation, and specifically for finding groundbreaking ways in which technology can assist the protection of wildlife and habitats on the ground, has been inspirational and has had very positive impacts on the effectiveness of our law enforcement efforts. He will leave a long-lasting legacy with benefits accruing to protected areas across boundaries and continents.

FZS has collaborated over a number of years with Vulcan Inc. established by Paul Allen on linking technological innovations with field conservation priorities including the Great Elephant Census of 2014/15, and the testing and continued development of software platforms (such as the Domain Awareness Systems that bring together a variety of sources of data to provide wildlife managers with real-time information to most effectively address field activities) in a number of our field sites in Africa. 

FZS extends its sincere condolences to the family of Paul Allen and to our colleagues in Vulcan Inc.

About the Great Elephant Census

The Great Elephant Census was the first continent-wide count of elephants that relies on scientifically tested and standardized methods using aircraft for the counting exercise over short time periods (2014 and 2015). It was financed and organised by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. Numerous NGOs were involved, such as the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group, Elephants without Borders, the WWF, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the African Parks Network, Save the Elephants and the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Other key participants included the conservation and national park authorities of the individual countries concerned.

A total number of 352,271 elephants were counted in the 18 countries surveyed. FZS contributed to the Great Elephant Census through carrying out counting of elephants in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.