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Nick Brandt's Big Life Foundation

photo-eye Gallery is pleased to announce an important opportunity to purchase Nick Brandt photographs while also making a donation to help protect the wildlife depicted in his images. Through January 31, 2011, 20% of all Nick Brandt photograph sales through photo-eye will go to the Big Life Foundation, started by Brandt in September 2010 to help conserve and protect East Africa’s endangered wildlife and ecosystems.

Please view Brandt’s work on our website at http://www.photoeye.com/nickbrandt

Nick Brandt states below why your support is so important.

Elephant Drinking, Amboseli, 2007. Killed by Poachers, 2009. © Nick Brandt.

The caption beneath the photograph above explains it all.

In a very short space of time, most of the large-tusked elephants featured in my books have been killed by poachers for their ivory.

Just in the last five months, many of Amboseli's last remaining amazing big bull elephants have been slaughtered. In the last few weeks alone, eight have been discovered killed, some with tusks so small you realize that none are safe any more. And these elephants are just the ones that we know about.

Since 2008, there has been a huge increase in demand from China and the Far East for ivory, and as a result, elephants are being wiped out at an alarming rate. The numbers are apocalyptic: it's estimated that as many as 35,000 elephants are being poached a year, that's 10% of the entire population of Africa's elephants each year. As things currently stand, it's no longer a matter of if a big-tusked elephant is killed, but when.

And it's not just elephants. The lions are being poisoned at an incredible rate too. It's become so bad that there are next to no lions left outside the national parks. Giraffes being killed at a faster rate for bush meat, and there are even contracts out on zebras, as their skins are the latest fad in Asia.

In the extraordinary Amboseli ecosystem, a trans-border area of Kenya and Tanzania, up until now, there has been very little in the way of protection. Our first major undertaking is a broad-scale anti-poaching operation for the Amboseli ecosystem. As of this moment in time and running for two months, Big Life Foundation now has, on both the Kenyan and Tanzanian sides:

- Seven anti-poaching camps built or modified and expanded, each manned by eight scouts/rangers.
- Two more camps that will be built and running by the end of January, bringing the total to nine.
- Seven anti-poaching patrol vehicles for all the camps.
- A team of new rangers and scouts, platoon commanders and training instructor hired. Over the next month or two, the Tanzanian rangers will be armed and trained up to full efficiency.
- Prosecution officers employed for both sides of the border to follow through on all arrests, making sure that the criminals receive necessary justice.
- The Kenya Wildlife Service will also shortly receive another fully equipped Land Cruiser for a patrolling Wildlife Protection Unit of eight armed rangers.
- A large network of informers on both sides of the border. This is critical to our success, and to preventing the killing of all species.
- The co-purchase of a Microlight plane for monitoring and surveillance.

But given the sheer level of poaching to suppress and overcome, and the size of the wilderness area we are protecting—over two million acres—we need to double the anti-poaching camps, with accompanying patrol vehicles and equipment.

Once this level of infrastructure is in place—160 rangers and scouts in eighteen camps, with aerial support above, tracker dogs and informer network support on the ground—we feel that we will then radically reduce the poaching of ALL animals in this extraordinary ecosystem.

It's a great start, but so much more is needed. We are operating with urgency because we know that we don't have time to wait.

We're hoping that once we get the poaching under control in Amboseli, we can target the issues long term, and further afield across East Africa. There is so much to be done to protect some of Africa's most magnificent wild animals from being all but wiped out in the very near future.

But we can only do this with financial support. Please help by donating to Big Life.

To learn about what we are already doing, and what we are going to be doing with your help, please visit our website:
http://www.biglifeafrica.org

Your support is crucial to our success and is greatly appreciated.

-Nick Brandt


Elephants Walking Through Grass, Amboseli, 2008, Leading Matriarch Killed by Poachers 2009 © Nick Brandt
Elephant with Half-Ear, Amboseli, July 2010. Killed by Poachers August 2010. © Nick Brandt

For more information about tax deductions and ordering photographs contact Anne Kelly, Associate Gallery Director at anne@photoeye.com or 505.988.5152 x121

If at this time you cannot support this important cause, perhaps you know someone who might be able to help. If so, please share this blog post with them.

Many thanks for your time and consideration. Warm wishes for the holiday season!

Rixon Reed, Director
Anne Kelly, Associate Director
photo-eye Gallery 505.988.5152 x121

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 View Nick Brandt's images at photo-eye Gallery here.

View books by Nick Brandt here.

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