Nick & Ride4Rangers with Wildlife Worldwide
A MONTH IN THE SADDLE! During September 2020 I was part of a team from Wildlife Worldwide who collectively cycled well in excess of 8500km / 5300 miles, the equivalent of Africa north to south. My numbers: 1229km covered personally, 17,680m elevation gain, 55.5 hours in the saddle, over £5500 raised personally, and over £19,500 raised by the team. AMAZING. A million thanks to all who helped and donated to the cause- vital funds now heading to the rangers in South Luangwa, Zambia.
Our JUST GIVING page will remain active, so donations can still be made to boost our total further.
This was part of the broader Ride4Rangers effort, a fabulous travel industry initiative supported by the charity TUSK which is aiming to put US$10 million into the field to support rangers in Africa over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic months.
The COVID-19 epidemic has dealt everyone a tough few months, but in Africa the almost total collapse of the travel industry has precipitated a devastating economic impact which is undermining the livelihoods of millions of people. It is also seriously threatening Africa’s iconic wildlife. Without income from tourism there is no money to pay the rangers whose role it is to protect this incredible resource. The rangers are experiencing drastic salary cuts although they are still working tirelessly to ensure the safety of the continent’s wildlife.
All the money we raise will go directly towards supporting the salaries and deployment of African rangers during this crisis and, incredibly, every penny will be match funded. So, if we raise £5,000, the rangers will receive £10,000, doubling the impact of every donation.
If you would like to sponsor this wonderful initiative, you can visit my JustGiving page. You can also follow the progress of the Wildlife Worldwide team on Strava. The intention is to give you updates on the team's progress during the course of the month, and we may even have a ‘social ride’ towards the end of the month that you would be most welcome to join – with all of the appropriate social distancing in mind of course.
We know it is a tough time, but we would very much appreciate your support – as would the rangers in Africa. Please feel free to share these links with friends and on your social media feeds – the rangers (and the wildlife) need as much support as they can get…
£150 could purchase a full patrol kit for a ranger in South Luangwa.
£180 could fund a community scout salary for a month .
£250 could provide rations for a 3 week 6 man rotational patrol team.
£500 could sponsor fuel to deploy anti-poaching patrols for one vehicle for a month.
Nick's Photography and Conservation
A picture is worth a 1000 words, and never more so than when trying to convey the beauty, transience and fragility of endangered species and the world’s wild places. Nick firmly believes that the power and reach of photography is an important tool in promoting the plight of threatened species to the broadest audience and educating in potential ways human impact on the planet can be alleviated.
Nick is proud to contribute to this through donating images to the following renowned and respected conservation organisations and initiatives.
Nick is passionate about Big Cats and their conservation. His images of tigers, jaguars, lions, snow leopards, leopards, pumas and cheetahs are widely used by Panthera in promotional and fund raising material and on their website. Click the links below to find out more about the world's most beautiful carnivores, the threats facing them and what is being done about it.
From the end of June to mid-July in 2010, Nick's images featured in a video on the CBS Challenge Board in Times Square, New York. This hard-hitting 15 second features aimed to raise awareness about the fragile state of the world's tiger populations.
Founded in 2006, Panthera is devoted exclusively to the conservation of wild cats and their ecosystems. Utilizing the expertise of the world’s premier cat biologists, Panthera develops and implements global conservation strategies for some of the most imperiled large cats – tigers, lions, jaguars, snow leopards, cheetahs, pumas and leopards.
Their approach to wild cat conservation is rooted in sound science and is based upon decades of first hand field experience in some of world's most challenging locations. Panthera works in partnership with local and international NGOs, scientific institutions, local communities and governments around the globe which represents the most comprehensive effort of its kind directed specifically at the world's felines.
Panthera seeks a future in which the world's 38 wild cat species have the necessary and ongoing protection from human and environmental threats to thrive in the wild. The organisation's vision sees endangered wild cat populations rebound, critical habitats and core populations connected by corridors, and a global commitment to protect these iconic species into the future.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) is an independent campaigning organisation committed to bringing about change that protects the natural world from environmental crime and abuse. Their vision is a future where humanity respects, protects and celebrates the natural world for the benefit of all.
EIA’s investigations are a trademark of their work around the world, where they tackle environmental crime and defend the natural world strategically, operating in a number of different ways. Their findings are combined with scientific documentation and representation at international conventions, creating the hard-hitting campaigns which have earned them credibility and a reputation globally.
To mark their 30th Anniversary, EIA hosted an event and charity auction in London in September 2014. Nick was happy to donate a signed panoramic print of a Wandering Albatross flying over South Georgia. Nick's photo sold for £2000, the highest sum paid for a single item during the evening and such was the interest in the photo that Nick donated a second identical print that also sold for £2000. The evening raised nearly £20,000 for EIA. Biologist and TV presenter Liz Bonnin hosted the auction and and can be seen here presenting one of the prints with Anna Cairns from EIA.
Founded in 1963 by Gerald Durrell and initially named the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, organisation was renamed in his honour in 1999. There is no more poignant symbol of extinction than the dodo, that fittingly the trust use as its logo. The dodo's home, the island of Mauritius has long been one of DWCT key regions.
Today DWCT is an international charity working globally towards saving species from extinction. DWCT is committed to conserving the diversity and integrity of the life on earth and they have developed a worldwide reputation for pioneering conservation techniques.
The island of Madagascar is one of DWCT flagship field projects and is at the heart of their conservation programme. They have been working for nearly 30 years towards saving species and supporting communities to manage natural resources sustainably on the island.
Nick has been directly or indirectly associated with the work of DWCT for over 20 years, particularly on the islands of Madagascar and Mauritius. His Madagascar images in particular are used by the Trust for dispalys at their headquarters and park in Jersey and to promote their work in the field.
In 1990 a team from Durrell Wildlife (then Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust) travelled to Madagascar on a mission to rescue the aye-aye, which was then thought to be on the brink of extinction. Their plan was to capture some animals and take them back to Jersey to initiate a captive breeding programme. This was famously written described by Gerald Durrell in his wonderful book, The Aye-aye and I: A rescue expedition in Madagascar.
Eventually, six aye-ayes were caught and flown to Jersey via Mauritius, where I helped look after them for one night at the airport (I was then working on a Durrell bird project in Mauritius). I later visited Jersey Zoo to see again the same aye-ayes and photograph them. Three of the original six remain alive today, and over the years they have bred several times, with offspring now being exhibited at London, Bristol, Paris and Frankfurt zoos and West Midlands Safari Park.
The EDGE of Existence programme highlights the plight of one-of–a-kind species on the verge of extinction and seeks to promote their conservation.
Using a unique scoring system, the world's mammals, birds and amphibians have been assessed according to how Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) they are. The top 100 in each group are highlighted.
These are the world's most extraordinary threatened species – yet most are unfamiliar and not currently receiving conservation attention. The EDGE list of mammals is highlighted in Nick’s acclaimed book 100 Animals to See Before They Die.
Nick was immediately captivated by the ruggedness and beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest on his first visit in 2007. On that first trip that he became friends with staff at Raincoast and he is delighted to donate images and be associated with their work.
Raincoast is a team of conservationists and scientists dedicated to the protection of the lands, waters and wildlife of coastal British Columbia, an area also known as the Great Bear Rainforest. Raincoast use rigorous, peer-reviewed science and grassroots activism to further their conservation objectives. They call this approach ‘informed advocacy’ and it is unique amongst conservation efforts.
Raincoast’s vision for coastal British Columbia is to protect the habitats and resources of umbrella species. They believe this approach will help ensure the survival of all species and ecological processes that exist at different scales.
ARKive is creating the ultimate multimedia guide to the world's endangered animals, plants and fungi. Wildlife photos and films are vital weapons for education and information in the battle to save the world's endangered species from the brink of extinction.
Nick has an extensive collection of images of endangered species and these are widely used by ARKive.