Guaranteed Christmas Delivery for all orders placed by 3pm CET on 12/18/18
News

Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2

May 16 2014

#Conservation programs #Consumer stories #Expeditions

Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2
Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2
Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2
  • Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2
  • Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2
  • Why wildlife travel writer Sophie Stafford (and other conservationists) rely on Swarovski optics in the field Part 2/2
  • My Swarovski binoculars help me to, not just observe wildlife, but really see it. And during my travels, I’ve met many conservationists who know the difference that quality optics can make…

    When a female white rhino named Thandi was brutally attacked by poachers in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, wildlife veterinarian Dr William Fowlds saved her life. But to treat her terrible facial wounds, Will needed to find her every day – not an easy task when your traumatised and highly mobile patient has a 9,000-hectare game reserve to hide in.

    But with a powerful, razor-sharp pair of binoculars, like the Swarovski SLC 10x42s, he could not only pick up the grey smudge that was Thandi grazing on the crest of a hill on the opposite side of the valley, but determine the direction in which she was heading, so that he could intercept and care for her.

    As a conservationist, Will understands the importance of seeing with your own eyes. He was the first person to show the world what poached rhinos go through – to share their stories of pain and fear – and knows that, to change the species’ fate, people must witness the impact for themselves.

    He says: "You cannot tell a conservation story unless you can make people feel it – and you cannot feel a story unless you can see it. Swarovski binoculars not only show you the world, they make you part of it." Today you only have to see Thandi’s poor disfigured face and you will be changed forever.

    For another rhino guardian, Bryce Clemence, good optics couldn’t be more critical. His anti-poaching team of just 10 rangers are the last line of defence for rhinos living in the Savé Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe.

    Ten men, however dedicated, cannot patrol the entire 340,000-hectare reserve every day, so one of their tactics is to set up observation posts on hillsides and scour the valley below for rhinos – and poachers. They will often survey an area for hours at a time, over several days, so it’s essential to have a clear, bright, quality telescope that is gentle on their eyes yet brings a large area into focus, like the Swarovski ATX 25–60x85. And since rhinos are the colour of shadows and mainly active at twilight, incomparable light-gathering is essential to enable the team to accurately identify individuals.

    In an exciting development, Bryce’s team have recently begun to harness the power of digiscoping to stop poachers. From their elevated perch, they use a camera mounted on a telescope to detect, zoom in and photograph poachers’ faces as they mercilessly track down their rhino prey. They know they can rely on SWAROVISION technology to provide extreme detail recognition at crucial moments, over long distances and in poor light, producing images that will stand up in court as part of a prosecution.

    Dr Rosemary Groom knows a thing or two about working in challenging conditions. She heads up the Lowveld Wild Dog Project at Savé Valley, where she must keep track of nine packs of 80–90 wild dogs – and their puppies.

    For this endangered species, every pup is precious, yet mortality is worryingly high. So, during the denning season, Rosemary regularly visits every pack, often on a motorbike, to count and monitor the development of their puppies.

    But it’s not until twilight falls that the dogs awaken and the pups leave the den to socialize and play – with springy twigs, dry leaves, the adults’ feathery tails and their own fascinating feet. Their behaviour is captivating, but visibility is poor, and Rosemary needs to be able to observe the pack closely to understand the social complexity of this unique species.

    So she relies on compact and rugged binoculars, like the Swarovski EL 10x50, which are tough enough to endure sand, sun and occasional mishaps in the bush, yet deliver a crystal-clear view of the action, even in low light.

    For conservationists who work in the field with wildlife every day,

    Swarovski optics really are the perfect partner and I wouldn’t travel without mine. So isn’t it time you stopped missing out and started discovering the world through new eyes?

    About the author

    Sophie Stafford was Editor of the prestigious BBC Wildlife Magazine for over eight years and travelled the globe searching for the best nature stories and photographs. She now works as a magazine consultant and travel writer, and recently spent three months exploring southern Africa with her Swarovskis.

    All photos © Neil Aldridge www.conservationphotojournalism.com

    Learn more about Dr William Fowld’s pioneering veterinary work on rhino survivors here.

    Follow Dr Rosemary Groom’s mission to protect endangered wild dogs here.

    Back to Top