WHEELS ON THE GROUND AND WINGS IN THE AIR
The EWT’s on-the-ground work takes place across southern and East Africa, often in remote and far-flung places, where conservation action is needed most. This means that our team members must travel great distances to save species and habitats, and work with communities that rely on natural resources to survive. This would not be possible without the support of two of our most generous donors.
For over 30 years, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has been actively involved in the conservation of wildlife and ecosystems in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. To-date, FMCSA has invested almost R40 million to support more than 170 conservation projects.
The Ford Wildlife Foundation is unique as it does not provide a cash donation to the conservation projects it supports; instead Ford’s partner organisations are equipped with Ford Rangers. The vehicles provided are used to help project operations, such as transporting field equipment, helping vets reach sick or poached animals, or translocating the animals themselves. The vehicles operating in all Ford Wildlife Foundation projects are monitored and serviced by Ford’s extensive dealer network to ensure they operate at peak efficiency. We are endlessly grateful to the Ford Wildlife Foundation for their unerring support over the years. Many of our teams rely on these donated Ford Rangers to transport animals and to work in areas they would not otherwise be able to reach. The EWT currently makes use of these vehicles for work as diverse as relocating Cheetahs, travelling to wetland restoration sites to preserve critical Pickersgill’s Reed Frog habitat, monitoring the impacts of roads on wildlife across the country, and travelling large distances to work with communities to protect threatened crane species, among others. Without the support of the Ford Wildlife Foundation, none of this would be possible.
While the Ford Wildlife Foundation has kept our team on the road, The Bateleurs take over when we need to take flight. Founded in 1998, The Bateleurs is a non-profit company, with over 200 pilots and aircrafts. It provides its beneficiaries and the public with an aerial perspective of the environment and has coordinated several diverse missions throughout South Africa and Africa, in support of environmental issues. Since 2013, The Bateleurs have supported the EWT with over 200 flights, making critical conservation work such as Wild Dog and Cheetah relocations and aerial surveys of species such as vultures and cranes possible. Had these been chartered flights, the cost would certainly have exceeded R5 million. This work is absolutely pivotal to the operations of the EWT, and would not be possible without The Bateleurs’ generous support. We are immensely appreciative of this, and place great value on this partnership.