Scientists and volunteers join forces in two new expeditions to help protect and preserve Sumantran tigers and South African leopards
Almasalla, ATP News- Biosphere Expeditions has added two more exciting expeditions to its portfolio for 2015. Once again, Biosphere Expeditions offer the average layperson a chance to get involved and assist qualified scientists and environmentalists in their efforts to preserve and protect endangered species and their habitat.
The new expeditions are one working with WWF Indonesia on Sumatran tiger conservation; and the other in collaboration with Blue Hill Nature Reserve in the fynbos Cape mountain UESCO World Heritage Site of South Africa, helping to protect and preserve leopards, caracal and Cape biodiversity.
Biosphere Expeditions, WWF Indonesia Riau Program and the Batu Dinding Community Group have launched a new tiger expedition to Sumatra. Starting in May 2015, the expedition will conduct a much-needed survey of critically endangered Sumatran tigers in one of the last remaining habitats left on one of Indonesia’s largest islands. Animals that prey on tigers such as various species of deer, pig, bird, fish and primate will be recorded and general forest biodiversity studied. Working together with WWF Indonesia and the local community, the expedition will also work on mitigating the critical threat of poaching through education, capacity-building and incentive creation for local people. Data collected by the expedition will be crucial in identifying pockets of tiger habitat and viable strategies for tiger conservation and recovery, which are all vital if the species is to survive.
The new South Africa expedition is with Dr. Alan Lee of Blue Hill Nature Reserve. Biosphere Expeditions has already worked with Dr. Lee in Peru when he was the expedition scientist there whilst working on his Ph.D. Now back in his native South Africa, Biosphere Expeditions has answered Dr Lee’s call to work on leopard, caracal and Cape biodiversity in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.
This expedition, which will start in October 2015, will focus on monitoring two of Africa’s iconic cats: the threatened Cape mountain leopard and the caracal, in an effort to reduce conflict with farmers and thereby contribute significantly to cat survival and their conservation.
Dr. Matthias Hammer, executive director of Biosphere Expeditions, says “we are delighted to add these two expeditions to our portfolio. Human-wildlife conflict is marginalising our wildlife, whether it is through large-scale forest destruction in Sumatra driven by palm oil demand, or livestock ranchers in Africa considering cat predators as public enemy number one. Our expeditions, and the hard work done by our scientists and volunteers working together, help create jobs and incomes within local communities and are a showcase for how everyone can win – local people, foreign visitors and the wild cats. Combine this with science-based answers to real-world problems provided by our work, and you have one piece of the puzzle of how to address the global crisis in biodiversity.”