A local Accounts Administrator from Tadworth in Surrey is swapping her desk for the forests of Madagascar in July. Lena Walton is heading to the Ankarafantsika National Park to join a conservation field research project with Earthwatch, the international environmental charity.
Lena will be helping Earthwatch scientists to monitor the Fosa, one of the most ferocious predators that walks the Earth. The Fosa, a relative of mongoose, stalks Madagascar's forests and is found nowhere else on earth; habits remain virtually unknown and population status a mystery.
With an international team of volunteers, Lena will be working in Madagascar's largest tract of dry deciduous forest with biologist Luke Dollar in order to aid the conservation of the fosa and its endemic relatives.
Rising before the sun, Lena will rotate between a variety of tasks essential to the project's success. She will hike up to 15 kilometers each day and be trained to check trap lines in the early morning and late afternoon, she will help to measure trapped and sedated carnivores, outfit them with radio collars, and radio-track collared animals in eight-hour shifts. In the evenings Lena will have the rare opportunity to join local village festivities and share stories with the nearby women's cooperative.
Lena says, 'Joining this Earthwatch conservation project is a fantastic opportunity for me. I have always been interested in Madagascar, the island's fauna fascinates me and reading Gerald Durrell books as a child left me enthralled. By joining this project I can actively ensure that some of its unique wildlife is conserved for the years to come. '
Claudia Eckardt, Volunteer Programme Manager for Earthwatch says, 'We are very lucky to have some one as dedicated as Lena supporting our mission. Her work in Madagascar will contribute to a long term conservation programme that could not operate without the support of our volunteers.'
Anyone is eligible to follow Lena into the forest by joining one of 140 Earthwatch projects currently underway. For more details please visit www.earthwatch.org/europe, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01865 318831 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01865 318831 end_of_the_skype_highlighting to speak to a Volunteer Programme Officer.
For press information, interviews and images, contact:
Zoe Gamble, Press Officer, Earthwatch, + 44 (0) 1865 318806/ email@example.com