November 2017 – Wilderness Wildlife Trust is pleased to welcome conservation and environmental stalwart, Dr John Ledger, as one of its new trustees. He will be joining Russel Friedman, Founding Partner of Wilderness Safaris and independent trustee, Andrew Leontsinis, to collectively ensure that the Trust continues to give priority to projects that can drive and increase conservation on the African continent.
“With extensive experience in all matters relating to the environment, conservation and wildlife, we are confident that John will be a valuable asset to the Trust and play an important role in helping us drive the funding for various deserving conservation and research projects across the continent”, said Russel Friedman. “He is a remarkable and highly accomplished individual and we are delighted to welcome him on board”, said Russel Friedman.
Starting his career as a medical entomologist at the South African Institute for Medical Research, John is possibly best known for his role as the Director of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), propelling it to become one of the leading conservation non-profit organisations in South Africa. He played a vital role in the study and conservation of vultures in southern Africa, establishing the Vulture Study Group (VSG) in the early 1970s together with Russel Friedman, Peter Mundy and the late Steven Piper. Today, the VSG is a world-renowned NGO.
John is an experienced author and editor, with several books, many scientific papers and a host of popular science articles listed in his publications. In addition to his careers in medical research and conservation, he is also an authority on energy, and until recently was Associate Professor of Energy Studies at the University of Johannesburg. He is currently Visiting Associate Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand.
The Wilderness Wildlife Trust is an independent, non-profit entity that facilitates fundraising and dispensing of monies to deserving conservation projects, mainly concentrating on funding three key areas: wildlife research, anti-poaching and management, and community empowerment and education. In partnership with Wilderness Safaris, the Trust enables researchers and individuals to make a difference beyond the geographic spread of Wilderness Safaris’ concessions, ultimately making a long-term and sustainable contribution to the biodiversity protection of numerous wilderness areas throughout the continent.
To date, the Trust has funded more than 100 different projects in eight African countries, producing 13 Doctorates, ten Masters theses and more than 50 peer-reviewed published papers that have contributed directly to conservation. On average, the Trust funds 25 different projects annually, many of them long-running such as Wilderness Safaris’ award-winning Botswana Rhino Reintroduction Project, which saw the largest cross-border translocation of the Critically Endangered black rhino in history.
“Together with John’s valuable insight and expertise, we are looking forward to extending our reach and ability to make a difference to Africa, its people and its wildlife”, concluded Friedman.