From their preferred flight altitude Bateleur Eagles see every little detail on the ground and are quick to pick out anything new. From the air one sees things that are completely hidden at ground level. Airborne pilots, like eagles, are all-seeing and have the opportunity to readily report anything amiss within their ranges. Many of the malpractices of land use in Africa leave scars that are visible from the air: patches cleared from forests; silting of beaches and lakes; erosion of the soil layer; and elephant carcasses left by poachers. ‘The Bateleurs’ is a service offered by dedicated flying people to help halt these malpractices – by reporting them, by showing them to the right people who can do something about them, or simply by offering to fly missions for other NGOs and individuals deeply concerned with wildlife and wilderness.
The Bateleurs were inspired by LightHawk in America who have been flying environmental mission for the past 20 years and who have encouraged us to start our own organisation in Africa. We whole-heartedly endorse LightHawk’s statement:
“We are surrounded by evidence of man’s impact on the earth. Yet burdened as we are by our daily routines, limited as we are by our earth-bound perspective, we cannot see the real impact we have on the planet that gives us life. We need to take a step back. Or, perhaps, we need to fly. From the air, we can see the earth in it’s true fragility. We can assess the enormous power humans have to build, to alter, to destroy. And, no matter what our political beliefs or cultural mores, we can confront the irrefutable fact that something must be done.”