184th Meeting – April 1999
Wildlife in the
A talk and presentation by Bruce Kekule
Your convenor writes: There were no minutes taken at the meeting so I have used information from Bruce’s website which, apart from a sprinkling of anecdotes, covers all of what he talked about. I can’t reproduce the slides, unfortunately, you had to be there. To see some of the images on his website, Google Bruce Kekule.
In order to collect as many images as possible in the four-year period this book allowed, some of the best national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and non-hunting areas were chosen as photographic sites. By learning about each area from continued visits, a considerable knowledge was gained of wildlife habits and habitats. This determined the best times and places for 100 percent photographic success. Wildlife is so wary of humans that it is extremely difficult to see or photograph them in their natural habitat.
As one millennium passes and another begins, the world has lost much of its rainforests and inhabitants in the destructive movement of progress. Human population growth, industrialization and man’s quest for money and power are the main culprits.
Recent surveys tell us that an area of tropical rainforest the size of New York’s Central Park is being destroyed every ten minutes, the size of New Orleans every Month and that of the British Isles every year. Forests are being cut down for timber, livestock ranches, farms, food and housing. Wherever the devastation takes place, it contributes to climatic changes through greater greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. In recent times, severe world weather conditions caused by the el Niño and la Niña phenomena, destructive typhoons and hurricanes, and their disastrous effects of drought and floods, have wreaked havoc globally.
It is common
knowledge that the human being, the ultimate predator, bears the prime
responsibility for this depletion. Unhappily,
We are thus faced with an intractable dilemma. The destruction of our flora and fauna by this and previous generations will have severe consequences in the new millennium, affecting the weather, land and lives of people all over the country.
At the end of
Second World War,
We are at a crossroads where education and a sense of awareness for all natural living things are the most important tools to save what is left of our forests and wildlife. We also need to communicate through photographic books like this one, and the news media, to those who are uneducated about wildlife so they may understand and see the beauty of the natural world.
photographic trip into the world of
Born in the
However, a few protected areas remain fairly intact with good densities of flora and fauna. Prey species are abundant and carnivores thrive. These havens for wildlife include time honored Huai Kha Khaeng and Thung Yai Naresuan wildlife sanctuaries (World Heritage Site), and Kaeng Krachan and Doi Inthanon national parks. Other protected areas like Khao Yai, Khao Sok, Sai Yok, Erawan, Thap Lan national parks and Phu Khieo, Khao Ang Rue Nai, Khao Soi Dow and Salak Phra wildlife sanctuaries still have wildlife but some have very low densities depleted over the years by poaching and encroachment before any form of protection was implemented. Human pressure and the Asian traditional medicine trade are directly responsible for the disappearing wild species.
Wildlife photography is a difficult hobby or profession to become proficient. Years of trial and error, lost shots, bad exposure, out of focus, no wildlife subjects, equipment failure, expense and many other intricate problems make things difficult for the wildlife photographer. Travel plans and permission to enter some of the sensitive protected areas is a hurdle that must be crossed before any photographs can be taken. Cameras and lenses in the professional range are expensive but amateur equipment can also provide satisfactory results. Modern technology like infrared camera-traps allows one to capture illusive and rare animals, plus new digital cameras show results in real time. The use of a photo-blind is important as is self-control and patience, which comes with practice and a desire to get a photograph of nature’s creatures. Wildlife encounters are usually brief and one must always be ready with camera in hand ready to shoot on a moments’ notice. No two days are alike in the natural world and opportunities must be taken then and there if one is to be a successful wildlife photographer. Finally, share your photographs with as many people as possible in order to send a message to all that nature is truly worth saving for the future.