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This fundraiser ended on 05/16/10

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One year, six continents, hundreds of mammals, countless photos, and the chance to make a big difference! Please join us on our quest to raise funds and awareness for endangered mammals around the world! They desperately need your help! Thank you!

Imagine trekking through remote Himalayan mountains in search of the near-mythical Snow Leopard.

Or searching for one of the less than forty surviving Gilbert's Potoroo in Western Australia.

Or what about tracking down the rare Nilgiri Marten and Lion-tailed Macaque in the jungles of India, before spotting a Blue whale in the oceans around Sri Lanka.

Or perhaps pushing through the dense forests of China's Sichuan Province to catch a glimpse of the most cuddly of all beasts, the Panda.

Imagine doing all this – and more - in just one year!

Well, we hope to do just that!

Welcome to The Big Mammal Year!

Please join us on our quest to help conserve our world's mammals!

Any support, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated! Please keep reading to see how you can be a part of this exciting project.

Thank you!

Rich and Hayley (www.thebigmammalyear.com)

OUR MISSION

Many of us are familiar with the world's larger and more charismatic mammals. You certainly know what a Polar Bear is and you've no doubt heard of a Panda. You might even know that they are both endangered species. But have you heard of a Silky Sifaka or a Gilbert's Potoroo? What about a Black-crested Gibbon or an Ader's Duiker?

Out of a total of 5500+ species of mammals, more than 1100 are classified as endangered - many of which remain unheard of by most of us - making the Panda and Polar Bear part of a much larger group of mammals in need of urgent support and attention!

We have dedicated a whole year of our lives (starting in Dec 2010) to travel around the world to see and photograph some of the rarest and most exciting mammals, and to meet with the individuals and organizations striving to protect them.

Along the way, we hope that many people will follow our progress, so rather than making this a journey about us, we hope to use the attention to achieve some more important goals...

* To raise awareness and funds for the protection of endangered mammals.

All of this will be made possible by the promotion of our trip through the media, GiveForward and our website (www.thebigmammalyear.com), where we will provide exciting, up-to-date information on our progress throughout our journey. Ultimately, we also hope to release a photographic book of our journey - part of the proceeds of which, will go directly to mammal conservation.

* To promote wildlife tourism around the world, with a focus on endangered mammals.

Many people are unaware that the wonders of wildlife watching are accessible to them, wherever they are in the world. By allowing others to share in our experiences and by providing information on where to go and what to see, we hope that others can enjoy the wonders of wildlife watching, while contributing directly to conservation through the money they spend.

It has been well documented that rare species stand a greater chance of protection if tourism places a value upon them. Classic examples of this include Panda tracking in the Qinling Mountains of China, and Gorilla tracking in East Africa.

THE MAMMALS

Despite our focus on endangered mammals, we may end up seeing as many as 400 species of mammal by the end of our year - quite a feat in itself!

Of these, many are common but no less interesting species and some are even record holders, including the world's largest, smallest, fastest and slowest mammals! And even the world's only mammals that lay eggs!

You'll be able to learn about all the mammals we wish to see, once we have completed the information pages on each country on our website, so stay tuned! You will also be able to keep track of our sightings by logging on to our blog throughout the trip.

And while similar attempts to see birds have successfully been accomplished on many occasions (see "The Biggest Twitch", for example), no trip of this kind and scale has been tried for mammals. Until now!

However, please note that, unlike The Biggest Twitch, this trip will not be a record attempt!

OUR ROUTE

These are the countries we hope to visit:

Kyrgyzstan, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia (Borneo), China, Australia, Norway (Spitzbergen), Uganda, Madagascar, South Africa, Brazil, Guyana, Ecuador and Mexico.

If you would like to see how we hope to fit these countries into a year (!), please see the route map on our website - www.thebigmammalyear.com.

Please note that although we will do everything in our power to make it to all the countries on this list, in the order stated - as this trip is being personally funded and planned by ourselves, our route is subject to slight changes.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

The trip started as a personal endeavor to see some of the world's great wild places and we have personally committed to cover all our travel expenses for the year. But to make it more than just an average round-the-world-trip, we wanted to find a way to use the trip to give back, a way to make a positive difference.

To achieve this, we hope to use the attention from this project to raise as much awareness and funds for mammal conservation, as we can. But we cannot hope to do this without you! We need you to show your support in whatever way you can, if we are to make this a success!

Thus, if you or your company would like to sponsor us or know others who might, can help spread the word by possibly linking to our website from your own or your blog, or can help us with fundraising in any way (perhaps even placing a donations box in your local pub or elsewhere!), we would be eternally grateful! Any other ideas that may help us are most welcome!

If you've never donated to mammal conservation, well here's your chance!!

All donations will be given to worthy mammal conservation causes, as mentioned earlier. After which, you will be able to see exactly what your money has helped to do, by reading about it on our website - www.thebigmammalyear.com.

In all, it is hoped that we can raise US$100 000 for mammal conservation! We initially thought this figure was a little ambitious, but within a couple weeks of launching our website, we had over 1000 unique visitors from over 30 countries! And we haven't even left yet! If each of those visitors had donated just $10, we would already have $10 000 towards our target. Imagine what could be achieved from now until the end of 2011?!

We can do it! Together we can make a difference!!!!

So, perhaps you'd like to donate a little to show your support? You can do so now through this website! Please type in the amount you would like to give in the box on the top right hand side of this page and you will be directed to fill in your credit card details. GiveForward has made the donation process exceptionally easy and pain-free for you! Your donation will be processed instantly and securely!

If you do not have access to a credit card and would like to make your donation offline, please contact us for further details about how to go about this.

And remember, we are not only seeking financial contributions - donations of any nature are most welcome! So, if you feel you've got something to give that will help to make the project a success, we would also love to hear from you!

Thank you!!

Disclaimer: Please note that as we will be donating to organisations / individuals involved in conservation throughout the world, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to receive a certificate for tax purposes from your donation. Please contact us if this applies to you so we can discuss this with you. Thank you!

THE BENEFITS TO YOU

By supporting our cause, you will be contributing directly to the conservation of endangered mammals, and for that you should be proud!!

But if you are a business, we could possibly offer you more for your support and we're working to make this a win-win situation for all.

Our website already receives hundreds of hits per week from people the world over, and we expect that number to grow significantly through the course of our trip.

Combine that with the various other forms of media through which our story is being shared, and you have a great place to spread your word to the world!

We'd love to show our thanks by helping to support you or your company by showing the world that you are committing to make a difference. Because let's face it, improving your eco-friendly image by attaching your name to a worthy cause like this, is very important in a world of more environmentally conscious consumers!

So, contact us and we'd be happy to add you to our sponsors page on our website!

And let's not forget the people we are working to support! If you are involved in mammal conservation and you think you can help to make our efforts a success, we would love to show our thanks to you by making you eligible to receive donations from the trip!

ABOUT US

Both born in South Africa, we were privileged to be close to nature our entire lives! After university, we left South Africa to pursue our dream of traveling around the world. Given our love of nature, this led us to Ecuador and Peru where we worked as naturalists in the Amazon rainforest.

But the idea of sitting tight in one part of the world couldn't satisfy our desires forever and we began to travel to far reaches of the globe, often in search of wildlife.

To augment our travel funds, and to add to our experiences, we turned our hobby of wildlife photography into a profession, and we continue to sell our images around the world.

Soon, we realized just how easy and fascinating wildlife watching around the world is, and how well it complimented our other travels. Wanting to share this, and to make a contribution to the preservation of the animals we so love, the idea for this project came to being.

Our desire to start this new chapter in our lives so urgently, has been spurred on by our first hand experiences of the effects of human activities on wildlife.

SUBSCRIBE FOR UPDATES

Thank you so much for your time and support! If you would like to be sent an email each time we update our website with the latest news and photos from our trip, please visit our homepage to subscribe  - www.thebigmammalyear.com. Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you!

Rich and Hayley

Rich Lindie - BSc (Wildlife Science)

Hayley Wood - BSc (Hons) (Biomolecular Technology)

 

 


 

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