Charles Foley, Ph.D.

Conservation & Science
Tanzania Conservation Research Program
Senior Conservation Scientist
  • Ph.D. – Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University
  • B.A. – Department of Zoology, Oxford University, England

Areas of Expertise

  • Ecology and animal behavior specialist
  • African elephants
  • Africa-based field research
  • Managing conservation and research projects


Charles began his career studying African wildlife in 1990 when he and a colleague conducted the first-ever census of elephants on Mt. Kilimanjaro. In 1993, he started the Tarangire Elephant Project for his Ph.D. research, investigating the effects that poaching has on elephant social structure. Over the next two decades, the project’s research covered a diverse range of topics, including demography, behavior, genetics, and human-elephant conflict. In 1998, Charles and his wife, Lara, expanded the project’s work to conserve wildlife migratory corridors outside the National Park by working with local community partners to keep key corridors free from cultivation.

Charles was co-leader on the Tanzania Mammal Atlas Project, developing the first national database of Tanzanian mammals, resulting in conservation action plans and production of the first Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania. Additionally, Charles was a lead consultant in developing Tanzania’s National Elephant Management Plan.

After moving from Tanzania to the United States in 2019, Charles joined Lincoln Park Zoo as a senior conservation scientist with the Tanzania Conservation and Research Program, where he leads the zoo’s wildlife conservation efforts in Tanzania. Charles is an avid mammal-watcher, and spends much of his free time traveling the world to observe rare mammal species in the wild.


  • Wiethase, J. H., Critchlow, R., Foley, C., Foley, L., Kinsey, E. J., Bergman, B. G., Osujaki, B., Mbwambo, Z., Kirway, P. B., Redeker, K. R., Hartley, S. E., & Beale, C. M. (2023). Pathways of degradation in rangelands in Northern Tanzania show their loss of resistance, but potential for recovery. Scientific Reports, 13, 2417.
  • Lobora, A.L., C.L. Nahonyo, L.K. Munishi, T. Caro, C. Foley, J.G. Prunier, C.M. Beale, L.S. Eggert. 2018. Incipient signs of genetic differentiation among African elephant populations in fragmenting miombo ecosystems in south-western Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology 1-10.
  • Jones, T., J. Cusack, R. Pozo, J. Smit, L. Mkuburo, P. Baran, A. Lobora, S. Mduma, C. Foley. 2018. Age structure as an indicator of poaching pressure: Insights from rapid assessments of elephant populations across space and time. Ecological Indicators 88:115-125.
  • Lobora, A.L., C.L. Nahonyo, L.K. Munishi, T. Caro, C. Foley, C.M. Beale. 2017. Modeling habitat conversion in miombo woodlands: insights from Tanzania. Journal of Land Use Science 12(5):391-403.
  • Morrison, T., W. Link, W. Newmark, C.A.H. Foley, D. Bolger. 2016. Tarangire revisited: Consequences of declining connectivity in a tropical ungulate population. Biological Conservation 197: 53-60.
  • Durant, S.M., Becker, M.S., Creel, S., Bashir, S., Dickman, A.J., Beudels-Jamar, R.C., Lichtenfeld, L., Hilborn, R., Wall, J., Wittemyer, G., Badamjav L., Blake, S., Boitani, L., Breitenmoser, C., Broekhuis, F., Christianson, D., Cozzi, G., Davenport, T.R.B., Deutsch, J., Devillers, P., Dollar, L., Dolrenry, S., Douglas-Hamilton, I., Dröge, E., FitzHerbert, E., Foley, C., Hazzah, L., Hopcraft, J.G.C., Ikanda, D., Jacobson, A., Joubert, D., Kelly, M.J., Milanzi, J., Mitchell, N., M’Soka, J., Msuha, M., Mweetwa, T., Nyahongo, J., Rosenblatt, E., Schuette, P., Sillero-Zubiri, C., Sinclair, A.R.E., Stanley-Price, M. R., Zimmermann, A., Pettorelli, N. 2015. Developing fencing policies for dryland ecosystems. Journal of Applied Ecology: 52:3.
  • Foley, C., Foley, L., Lobora, A., De Luca, D., Msuha, M., Davenport, T.R.B., Durant, S. 2014. A field guide to the Larger Mammals of Tanzania. Princeton University Press, Princeton.
  • Ingram, J.C., D. Wilkie, T. Clements, R.B. McNab, F. Nelson, E.H. Baur, H.T. Sachedina, D.D. Peterson, C.A.H. Foley. 2014. Evidence of Payments for Ecoystem Services as a mechanism for supporting biodiversity conservation and rural livelihoods. Ecosystem Services 7: 10-21.
  • Ahlering, M., F. Hailer, M. T. Roberts, C.A.H. Foley. 2011. A simple and accurate method to sex savannah, forest and Asian elephants using non-invasive sampling techniques. Molecular Ecology Resources 11: 831-834.
  • TAWIRI. 2010. Tanzania Elephant Management Plan: 2010-2015. S. Mduma, A. Lobora, C. Foley, T. Jones (eds.). Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania.
  • Dobson, A., M. Borner, A. Sinclair, P. Hudson, T.M. Anderson, G. Bigurube, T. Davenport, J. Deutsch, S. Durant, R. Estes, A. Estes, J. Fryxell, C. Foley, M. Gadd, D. Haydon, R. Holdo, R. Hilborn, G. Jambiya, M.K. Laurenson, L. Melamari, A. Ole Morindat, J. Ogutu, G. Schaller, E. Wolanski. 2010. Road will ruin Serengeti. Nature 467: 272-274.
  • Durant, S., Craft, M., Foley, C.A.H., Hampson, K., Lobora, A., Msuha, M., Eblate, E., Bukombe, J., Mchetto, J., Pettorelli, N. 2010. Does size matter? An investigation of habitat use across a carnivore assemblage in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Journal of Animal Ecology 79(5): 1012-1022.
  • Durant, S., and Foley, C.A.H (Eds.) (2009) A national plan for mammal conservation in Tanzania. Final report to Darwin Initiative. November 1st 2005 – February 7th 2009. Tanzania Mammal Atlas Project. ZSL, TAWIRI.
  • Hedges, S., R. Beyers, S. Blake, I. Douglas-Hamilton, M. Fay, D. Greer, V. Fishlock, C. Foley, F. Grossmann, J. Hart, T. Hart, C. Hicks, S. Lahm, P. Lee, K. Lindsay, F. Maisels, C. Moss, S. Nixon, A. Plumptre, J. Poole, H. Rainey, I. Redmond, M. Starkey, E. Stokes, A. Turkalo, and G. Wittemyer. (2009). The Status of African Elephants (Loxodonta africana) in the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: A Critique. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
  • Pettorelli, N., A. L. Lobora, M. J. Mshua, C.A.H. Foley, S.M. Durant. 2009. Carnivore biodiversity in Tanzania: revealing the distribution patterns of secretive mammals using camera traps. Animal Conservation 13:131-139.
  • Foley, C.A.H and L. Faust. 2010. Rapid population growth in an elephant (Loxodonta africana) population recovering from poaching in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Oryx 44(2): 205-212.
  • Nelson, F., C. Foley, L. Foley, A. Leposo, E. Loure, D. Peterson, M. Peterson, T. Peterson, H. Sachedina, A. Williams. 2009. Payments for Ecosystem Services as a Framework for Community-Based Conservation in Northern Tanzania. Conservation Biology 24(1): 78-85.
  • TAWIRI. 2009. Tanzania Carnivore Conservation Action Plan. S.M Durant, C.A.H. Foley, A. Lobora, M. Msuha, S. Mduma, L. Foley (eds.). Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, Arusha, Tanzania.Foley, C., N. Pettorelli, L. Foley. 2008. Severe drought and calf survival in elephants. Biology Letters 4(5): 541-544.
  • Ishengoma, D., A. Shedlock, C.A.H. Foley, L. Foley, S. Wasser, S. Balthazary, B. Mutayoba. 2008. Effects of poaching on bull mating success in free-ranging African elephant (Loxodonta africana) population of Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Conservation Genetics 9:247-255.
  • Stanley, William T. and Charles A.H. Foley, 2008. A survey of the small mammals of Minziro Forest, Tanzania, with several additions to the known fauna of the country. Mammalia 72:116–122.
  • Svadlenak-Gomez, K., T. Clements, C. Foley, N. Kazakov, D. Miquelle, R. Stenhouse. 2007. Paying for Results: The WCS Experience with Direct Incentives for Conservation. In Protected Areas and Human Livelihoods, K. Redford and E. Fearn (ed.). WCS Working Paper No 32: 117-129.
  • E.A Archie, T.A Morrison, C.A.H. Foley, C.J. Moss, S.C. Alberts. 2006. Dominance rank relationships among wild female African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Animal Behaviour 71:117-127.
  • Foley, C.A.H. 2003. Demographic changes in the Tarangire elephant population from 1993-2003. In eds. W.D. Semuguruka, M.N. Mgasa., L.J.M. Kusiluka, G. Nkwengulila, B. Nyundo, C.O. Mlingwa, G. Sabuni, S. Mduma, and J.D. Keyyu, Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Scientific Conference; TAWIRI, Arusha, Dec. 3-5, 2002. Pp 76-89.
  • Foley, C.A.H. 2002. The Effects of Poaching on Elephant Social Systems. PhD thesis. Princeton University. pp.192.
  • Foley, C.A.H. 2002. High incidence of elephant twin births in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Pachyderm 32:64-66.
  • Foley, C.A.H., S. Papageorge, S.K. Wasser. 2001. Non-invasive stress and reproductive measures of social and ecological pressures in free-ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana). Conservation Biology 15(4):1134-1142.
  • Galanti, V., R. Rossi, G. Tosi, C.A.H. Foley, and L. Foley. 2000. Elephant Capture, Collaring and Radio-Tracking in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. Pachyderm 28:58-59.
  • Galanti, V., G. Tosi, R. Rossi, C.A.H. Foley. 2000. The use of GPS radio-collars to track elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Tarangire National Park (Tanzania). Hystrix 11(2):1-11.
  • Van de Vijver, C., C.A.H. Foley and H. Olff. 1999. Changes in the woody component of an East African savanna during 25 years. Journal of Tropical Ecology 15:545-564.
  • Wasser, S.K., S. Papageorge, C.A.H. Foley, J.L. Brown. 1996. Excretory fate of estradiol and progesterone in the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) and patterns of fecal steroid concentrations throughout the estrous cycle. General and Comparative Endocrinology 102:255-262.
  • Grimshaw, J.M., N.J. Cordeiro and C.A.H. Foley. 1995. The mammals of Kilimanjaro. Journal of East African Natural History 84:105-139.
  • Newmark, W.D., C.A.H. Foley, J.M. Grimshaw, O.R. Chambegga & A.G. Rutazaa. 1991. Local extinctions of large mammals within Kilimanjaro National Park and Forest Reserve and implications of increasing isolation and forest conversion. In The Conservation of Mount Kilimanjaro, W.D. Newmark (ed.). IUCN: Gland & Cambridge, pp. 35-46.
  • Grimshaw, J.M. and C.A.H. Foley. 1991. Kilimanjaro Elephant Project 1990 Final Report. 122pp. Friends of Conservation: London.
  • Cameron, R., C. Wiltshire, C. Foley, N. Dougherty, X. Aramoyo, and L. Rea. 1989. Goeldi’s monkey and other primates in Northern Bolivia. Primate Conservation 10:62-70.
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