Photos of Endangered Animals Raise Funding for Relief Projects

The Remembering Wildlife photography collections have raised over £775,000 for conservation projects working with endangered species. November 2020.

The cheetah is the world’s most endangered large cat. There are only 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild, mainly in Africa. Outside of Africa, once cheetahs were prevalent throughout many countries in Asia, they are now only found in Iran, where their numbers have dwindled to around 50. In India, the cheetah has been extinct for 60 years.

Cheetahs. Pic:Francesco Veronesi

As well as being trafficked as a pet or killed for fur or body parts, cheetahs are impacted by habitat loss, conflict with humans and high-density tourism.The book Remembering Cheetahs features over 70 images of these beautiful animals by many of the world’s best wildlife photographers. It has been dedicated to a team of cheetah researchers in Iran who have been jailed for ‘spying’ after using camera traps to try to capture images of the elusive Asian cheetah.

The book is the fifth in the Remembering Wildlife series, which was set up by Margot Raggett after seeing a poached elephant in 2014 in Kenya. She then spent six months persuading the world’s best wildlife photographers to donate an image for a book, Remembering Elephants, to raise money to fight poaching.

Since then, books in the Remembering Wildlife series have donated over £700,000 to 50 conservation projects in 23 countries.

“Huge numbers of cheetahs were lost historically when they were captured as adults from the wild as hunting companions, due to the ease with which they could be habituated,” says Raggett.

“In more recent times, those same desirable traits see them still caught in their hundreds from the wild each year, but this time as cubs to be sold into the illegal pet trade largely in the Middle East.

“Cheetah pelts continue to be coveted, trophy hunters still prize the thrill of killing them and they also get caught in gin traps and snares left for bushmeat,” Raggett explains.

“People remain the key to the survival of cheetahs and in these most difficult of times, looking after them is imperative, as is safeguarding land where cheetahs can live.”

Some of the funds from the sale of Remembering Cheetahs will go to support the Livestock Guarding Dog Programme in Namibia, set up by the Cheetah Conservation Fund, while another beneficiary, the Na’ankuse Foundation Wildlife Sanctuary in Namibia, will use the money to buy collars to track wild cheetahs.

Elephant, South Africa Giorgio Bighi/Remembering Elephants
Elephant, South Africa Giorgio Bighi/Remembering Elephants

Remembering Elephants, the book that started the Remembering Wildlife charity series, was created to raise awareness of the plight facing the elephant.

Among conservation projects benefitting from donations from Remembering Elephantsare The Mali Elephant Project, a network of 674 community eco-guardians who work as part of ‘surveillance brigades’ to monitor elephants, report poaching and collect vital information to enable targeted anti-poaching missions.

Since launch in November 2017, Remembering Rhinos has raised more than £200,000, which was distributed to projects in Kenya, South Africa, India, Java and Sumatra. There are five surviving species of rhino, the Asian Two-Horned (Sumatran) rhino, Lesser One-Horned (Javan) rhino, Hook-Lipped (Black) rhino, Square-Lipped (Southern White) rhino and Greater One-Horned (Indian) Rhino.

Many conservation initiatives have benefitted from funding by Remembering Rhinos, including the Rhino Conservation Botswana, which plays an important part in the protection of black and white rhinos on behalf of the Botswana government.

Black Rhino, Kenya. Margot Raggett/Remembering Rhinos
Black Rhino, Kenya. Margot Raggett/Remembering Rhinos

Remembering Great Apes is the third book in the series, which aims to raise awareness of the plight facing gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans and also to raise funds to protect them. It features a forward by renowned ethnologist Dr Jane Goodall – best known for her work with chimpanzees – who warns time is running out to save all the great apes.

In 2018, the Jane Goodall Institute completed an ambitious project to transfer nearly 100 chimpanzees from Tchimpounga to three new sites on islands in the Congo’s Koilou River. The donation given to the Institute from the sale of Remembering Great Apes paid for boat engines used to transport food and other supplies to the islands and to support Ranger operations in the Tchimpounga Nature Reserve. The money also enabled the Institute to purchase an ultrasound machine, essential for assessing the condition of the chimpanzees.

Mountain Gorilla, Democratic Republic of the Congo Kyle de Nobrega/Remembering Great Apes
Mountain Gorilla, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kyle de Nobrega/Remembering Great Apes

The number of lions has decreased by half in the last 25 years. Remembering Lions helped initiatives like the Niassa Lion Project in the Niassa National Reserve, Mozambique. The project works to conserve lions, their prey and their habitats through peaceful coexistence and a shared respect for people, wildlife and the environment.

The Niassa Lion Project recently wrote to Remembering Wildlife, saying: “We are all intricately intertwined and remembering our humanity is essential to save both wildlife and ourselves. We cannot save one without the other.

“At this time when everyone is scared and uncertain, this is not the moment to abandon our communities and relationships but to remember that conservation is community, we get through this together even when we are physically further apart. A life well lived with passion and purpose has far-reaching impacts.”

Lion, Tanzania. Federico Veronesi/Remembering Lions
Lion, Tanzania. Federico Veronesi/Remembering Lions
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