The Karoo Project Predator, a hope for the cohabitation between people and predators!
The outline of our project:
- Three actors: A young French and passionate scientist Marine Drouilly,
Two photographers Nature as much passionate, Nathalie Houdin and Denis Palanque
- A captivating countries: South Africa and especially the semi-desert Karoo region
- A problematic and three local protagonists: two predators, black-backed jackal and caracal, one is a canine and one feline. And Karoo sheep farmers.
The issue upon which our scientific work is unfortunately as simple as its implications are serious. Marine Drouilly working to decipher a conflict relationship Man / Predators existing than more 400 years. For this she created the Karoo Predator Project. Cooperation between the world of natural sciences, social sciences and the indispensable participation of those who live this every day, ranchers, hunters and professional associations for the protection of nature.
Interdisciplinarity is essential to the right understanding of the whole issue.
Number of farmers see this occasion as a way to go further and to finally live on their farms while preserving the biodiversity that is dear to them despite the harshness of cohabitation.
- Our role and purpose:
The idea of this ambitious project is to provide means to immerse themselves deep into the work of Marine and go beyond the status of simple witness.
His outstanding work and executed at unprecedented scale (whether in Africa or globally), could well be considered as a reference in this field and thus find wide coverage in Europe and the United States where conflicts Male / Predators are still present.
That is why as involved photographers we are particularly sensitive to its approach. And through our work we want to make our contribution and support this research, including through the widest possible distribution of this wonderful story that demonstrates that as strength of will, relations of man to nature can still move towards clever cohabitation.
But undoubtedly, this reportage looks like expedition will also be rich in local shares and full of surprises and encounters: to sheep shearing from calving sheep, through the sustained curiosity Baboons, pork porcupines and other large fans and collectors of digital equipment ... we will not run out of stories and adventures to share with you!
Bivouacs in the heart of the Leopards territory, chaotic paths of the desert revealing unexpected encounters with, zebras, antelopes ... all will be together to make this an unforgettable experience.
Through this story, the Marine work will be valued by exhibitions and conferences in France and South Africa.
Dates to follow ....!!
But long before the exhibitions and conferences, the project Facebook page will not fail you to share images and videos.
Now if you want to know more ...
For most of us South Africa evokes safaris in the heart of vast natural parks, some of which are extremely famous as the Kruger Park.
Yet outside controlled areas of parks and reserves, beyond reassuring fencing, South African territory still vast, wild and populated by many other predators.
Certainly less charismatic than lions and leopards, these smaller predators such as the Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) and leCaracal (Caracal caracal) are not confined to protected areas in the country.
Their wide distribution on the territory inevitably leads to conflicts cohabitation face human pastoral activities such as herding sheep. At the heart of this South Africa, the Karoo desert area and poor in resources, yet is home to the majority of sheep farms and breeders and farmers of this country who live daily with these predators, life is not as idyllic as it seems.
And as to weigh more on this tense situation, the economic situation of the last decade and declining governmental supports helped make life even harder for farmers.
The only province of the Western Cape, whose Karoo is a part, is exposed to losses of more than one million U.S. dollars in 2010 due to predation.
Same time The National Woolgrowers Organization estimated a loss of 8% on the herds per year and at the national level due to predators (2.8 million head). We are therefore at the heart of a problem that affects not only biodiversity but also the subsistence economy of many families in an already fragile region.
But finally who we are?
At the center of this amazing story you will find obviously Marine Drouilly, the scientist whose work seems to us so important and that we wish to images. And then there is us ... we are two photographers involved in Nature and Conservation, Nathalie Houdin and Denis Palanque. Some details? So follow the thread.
But until you know everything about his life, it seemed essential to describe how we perceive Marine.
A blonde curly mane, a big smile and a heart big like that ... it is above all a passionate, bursting with energy, and whose mad passion for the great outdoors is supplanted by an immense love and a great respect for wildlife.
Marine Drouilly is an ecologist. She did her Master degree between France and Zimbabwe and studied the stress hormones in wild equids like plain zebras and the implications for conserving endangered species like Przewalski horses.
Her experiences led her from Alaska to Peru and as far as Southern Africa, far from her native Champagne.
Marine worked on diverse species from Kodiak brown bears to Mediterranean bighorn sheep, from African leopards, polar bears and pikas to sociable weavers and stone-curlews.
However, the 27 year-old scientist has a particular interest for carnivores whose conflicts with human populations are rising everywhere in the world. Human-wildlife conflicts are a very important subject for Marine because they occur everywhere on the planet and represent one of the biggest challenges conservation biologists will have to face during the XXIst century.
Having a passion for wildlife, mountains, wildlife photography and outdoor sports, it is in South Africa that Marine settled down for the next three years, where she is conducting her PhD at the University of Cape Town. She is studying the socio-ecological mechanisms behind farmer-predator conflicts in the semi-arid region of the Karoo.
Marine attaches a huge importance to communication, and especially through images to pass on messages and to explain the stake of biodiversity conservation. With farmers in the field, in the scientific community, with the French or international public, the little Frenchie from Champagne use articles, blogs, websites and conferences to raise public awareness. The project of Nathalie and Denis is close to her heart as their professional work will allow to win a larger public attention
Nathalie Houdin :
Professional photographer specializing in nature and conservation photography.
Aware of the ephemeral beauty of this world, I would like to capture by my photographs the brittle moment and restore the light so that it does not lose it. I try to express what I feel, what touches me.
My desire is to share, so I speak with children to teach them to know and respect their environment and look at the world around them differently.
I work with several magazines like Terre Sauvage, Alpes Magazine, Nat Images, Image & Nature ... My photographs are distributed by Biosphoto agency.
I published several books, "Wild Morocco" published by Naef and "Ibex through the seasons" and "Water painting" self-publishing and print by Escourbiac.
Today more than ever photography must be used for conservation and protection of fauna and flora. In any case my commitment and my line of work.
Denis Palanque :
Professional photographer specializing in conservation photography, nature and science.
Photography has always been linked to my need of discovering and understanding nature. But quickly, which was initially an exploration’s tool has revealed himself an amazing way of expression and especially a great tool for public-awareness. My dual training in biology and photography allows me to catch my subjects with both naturalistic and scientific knowledge needed to understand and respect wildlife and environment, but also with the necessary and essential sensitivity to the achievement of any picture.
For me, exploring the connection between man and nature is essential, and has led me to make photographs whose real aim is to become instruments of change rather than simply be information and observations. Every day in my work, I try to go in this direction and tries to make a difference as much as possible.
For me, nature photography must be done with a conservation approach.
I collaborate with magazines such as National Geographic France, Terre Sauvage, Alpes Loisirs, Alpes Magazine, Pyrenees Magazine ... My work is distributed by several image banks in France and around the world (Biosphoto, Visuals Unlimited, and Nature Picture Library).
Behind the scenes of the story ...
Reportage provided on 2014 - 2015
On this work, our photographic approach is meant innovative and will allow us to mix a reportage style photography but also by shooting in the field with style studio portraits techniques will occur.
Finally, the nature of our subjects, namely crepuscular predators, also allow us to draw upon trappings photographic technical to get nice images. Here again our aim is to implement all our knowledge and imagination to leave the classic lines of reporting and cause a real visual impact to the widest possible audience. To be effective our message must make an lasting impression and for this, the exceptional visual tool that is photography is unsurpassed.
We chose to realize the reportage in two trips.
The first is based on a 3-week period in October 2014 in order to follow Marine in its daily research and carry the bulk of the images and video clips.
During this trip we are also going to collect the first testimonies of the breeders, follow them in the intimacy of their life and so report difficulties met to the everyday life by these families. This human and sociological component of our project is however particularly mattered for us. Without this essential connection between the Man and the Animal the problem cannot find of acceptable and sustainable solutions.
The second trip will allow us to return to the areas in 2015 at the end of scientific study. Each of these trips will allow us to optimize the best shots maximizing our opportunities to photograph in situ Jackal and Caracal.
Both trips were also chosen according to the periods of calving predators as well as those of sheep. These are sensitive periods in which animals are most active and when herds are the most vulnerable but where opportunities for photographs will be the most numerous.
And waiting to the heat of the African continent, we invite you to discover with us the magic of the Icelandic winter through the expert eye of the Canon EOS 6D ... A refreshing sample of 3 min 23s to dream and give you an idea of videos we'll report!
Partners who have given us their trust and support
Above all we want to thank our partners and sponsors without whom the project would not have been possible.
Canon-France (with the support of Canon Europe) is one of our preferred partners. The company brings together the technical and logistical support for the shooting.
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National Geographic France
For this report the National Geographic magazine, France has renewed its confidence and support.
PNY, manufacturer and distributor of renowned hardware and mobility equipments, has supported us by providing us with SSD drives, memory cards, batteries ...
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Through its participation Pelicase provided us waterproof and shockproof cases essential for the transport of our equipment and for the realization of traps pictures boxes.
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The project is still up to finalize! And to go through with we need your help!
Want to join the partners in this project?
Do not hesitate to contact us, we remain at your disposal and we intend to meet you to show you more details to this ambitious project and develop with you all the modalities of collaboration.
In return for your involvement in our project, we are committed to provide you with photographs and video sequences equipment and your brand on the ground.