New Land Rover Defender put through real-world tests in support of wildlife conservation
Photographer David Yarrow, one of the world’s best-selling fine art photographers, was in Kenya recently in the new Land Rover Defender to take photos for the Tusk Trust conservation charity. 2019 has been designated the Year of the Lion Campaign. Through the sale of stunning wildlife images captured by David Yarrow, the issue of declining lion numbers and threatened lion populations in Africa, will be highlighted and taken to the top of the conservation agenda. There are currently fewer than 20,000 African lions remaining in the wild, compared with 25,000 rhinos (20,000 white rhinos and 5,000 black rhinos), and three-quarters of African lion populations are in decline. In 2018, charitable donations from the sale of David’s images exceeded $2 million.
Land Rover sent a prototype of the new Defender 4×4, which will make its world premiere later this year, to the Borana Conservancy in Laikipia, in northern Kenya, to help support lion tracking and monitoring operations. Land Rover’s link to East Africa stretches back to 1948, when some of the first 48 pre-production Series models were tested in the region.
The new 4×4 was tested by expert wildlife managers performing a series of real-world activities in Borana across the 14,000 hectare conservancy. This included a darting exercise to replace an old tracking collar fitted to a male lion. The lion was sedated at close range from the security of the specially camouflaged new Defender prototype.
Yarrow was on hand to capture a series of images as the new Defender, wearing a specially devised camouflage, was put to work locating a pride of lions.
Supported by Tusk, the Borana Conservancy works in a number of strategic areas including supporting communities, environmental education, habitat protection, saving endangered species and ensuring human-wildlife co-existence is achievable. The reserve is home to some of the most vulnerable species in the world with elephants, black rhinoceros, African wild dogs and Grevy’s zebras sharing the reserve alongside lions and other large predators.
The initiative was supported by Jaguar Land Rover’s worldwide logistical partner and supporter of Tusk, DHL.
About Borana Conservancy
Borana Conservancy is a wildlife sanctuary based in Laikipia, Kenya. It is home to some of the African continent’s iconic wildlife species, including the critically endangered black rhino. Borana is dedicated to sustainable conservation of land and wildlife. The Conservancy’s holistic approach commits tourism, ranching, and other enterprise to build local livelihoods and enhance ecosystem integrity. In 2015, Borana and the neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy combined their landscapes to create one of Kenya’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries.
About Kenya Wildlife Service
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), is a Kenyan state corporation that conserves and manages Kenya’s wildlife for the Kenyan people and the world. KWS manages the biodiversity of the country, protecting and conserving the flora and fauna in Kenya’s national parks and reserves. KWS also oversees wildlife management and activities in private and community wildlife areas through close working partnerships.