Tracks of Giants Expedition – May 1st

We are proud to announce the start of the Tracks of Giants expedition TODAY! This 5 month journey will begin in the west coast of Namibia, and travel east to South Africa. Make sure you follow along this important journey which will promote a greater awareness of conservation, human community and leadership issues specifically relevant to southern Africa.

Expedition leaders Ian McCallum and Ian Michler will lead a small multi-generational, multi-racial, and gender diverse team, including two wilderness rangers from the Wilderness Leadership School (South Africa): Lihle Mbokazi and Mandla Mbekezeli Buthelezi. The team will be traveling by foot, bike and kayak on a route that follows ancient elephant clusters and migration routes through six countries including Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

Ancient migration routes of elephants were chosen as the general route indicators as elephants are a keystone species and play a vital ecological, social and economic role in many Southern African countries as they anchor conservation initiatives and attract tourists to protected areas. They also address the question “If we can’t effectively co-exist with and protect something this important, how can we effectively protect and promote the sustainability of other wild life and wild places?”

The initial team includes Ian McCallum, Ian Michler, Vance Martin (WILD Foundation president), Mandla Mbekezeli Buthelezi and 6 local Namibians.

Follow along the journey! 

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Tracks of Giants Video


Support the team as they journey through South Africa to research the 

impacts of climate change, study habitat fragmentation and record 

indigenous knowledge of wildlife.  

Meet the TRACKS team!
               Ian McCallum is a medical doctor, psychiatrist, writer and a specialist wilderness guide. A co-founder of the Wilderness Leadership School in the Cape of Good Hope in 1983, he has subsequently written two anthologies of wilderness poems, a novel, and more recently, the award winning Ecological Intelligence – Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature (2005).Ian Michler is a top specialist wilderness guide, photojournalist and naturalist, and has lived and worked across Africa for the last 22 years. His feature articles, diaries and blogs documenting the major conservation challenges facing Africa are well known to readers of the award winning magazines, Africa Geographic and Africa Birds and Birding.Lihle Mbokazi is the Experiential Education Manager at the Wilderness Foundation, South Africa and holds many years of wilderness experience. Lihle will be joining the Tracks of Giants team on the Botswana leg of the expedition.

Mandlenkosi Mbekezeli  Buthelezi, known as Mandla to his friends and co-workers, is a 40 year old Zulu family man of the royal Zulu bloodline. Mandla is the head Wilderness Guide at the Wilderness Leadership School where he has practiced his bushcraft and passion for wilderness for the past 13 years.

Tracks of Giants is a project of:
An initiative of:

Nature Needs Half for web

Nature Needs Half is our answer, and all our programs demonstrate or illustrate the critical need for large, interconnected areas of wild nature that support all life on earth. 


Interstate for Wildlife

A lynx had traveled three times down the Rocky Mountain States from Canada to Colorado to mate, before it was legally harvested, on a return trip to Alberta. “I’ve never shot a lynx with a collar before,” said the Canadian trapper who handed its tracking collar over to authorities. To Canadian Harvey Locke, founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y), the cross border travels of the lynx is proof positive of our need to preserve vast landscapes of parks and wilderness as migratory corridors for wildlife. Locke calls this Y2Y initiative “an Interstate highway for wildlife”, and has even printed up a small bumper sticker that looks like a typical Interstate road sign in the U.S.  However, this one has a grizzly bear in the center.

The grizzly, in fact, is one of the most watched animals on the grass covered bridges in Alberta, Canada. These specially designed bridges cross the high speed highways that link the national parks of Banff and Jasper — and the sight of a grizzly bear crossing one is startling. To keep tabs on the number and variety of animal crossings each day, each bridge is mounted with video cameras that answer the question: Are the animals using it?

According to Locke, smaller animals like deer, pronghorn antelope, and mountain sheep, learn over time to use underpasses beneath the highways. Larger mammals, such as grizzly, elk and moose, need bridges. Once built, it may take them 3-5 years to learn to use the bridge. When these migration pathways are added to road systems, say experts studying their use, road kill drops by 80%.

Nature needs half,” Locke reminds. When we think about human settlements throughout the world, we need to remember that we are sharing the earth. That’s why the Y2Y initiative acknowledges the importance of safe passage for both migratory birds and mammals. On the ground he reminds, “The way to avoid species extinction is through this type of genetic connectivity. Without safe passage, highways act as a deadly barrier, cutting off North from the South, and East from West.” Locke, vice president of conservation strategies for The WILD Foundation, is the keynote speaker today at the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s new exhibit: Yellowstone to Yukon: The Journey of Wildlife and Art, in Jackson, Wyoming. Recognized as a global conservation leader, Time Canada has picked Harvey Locke as one of Canada’s leaders for the 21st century. He’s a hero to wildlife around the world, too.

Publicado el 28/05/2011 por Ver Publicacion: