JONATHAN TAYLOR

The fascination of photography has enchanted me since my Zambian childhood and initially led me to a career in photojournalism in Johannesburg. Opportunities in the commercial world followed, with a period in Cape Town as a fashion photographer. Shooting and directing commercials was the next step, with 20 interesting years based in Los Angeles and working globally. The return to photography has brought me full circle, again falling in love with the simplicity of creating images interesting enough to have a permanent place on the wall.

Shepherding back bio-diversity

 

The Dorper-Damara lambs in the photographs are one part of a wonderful program working to manage the conflict between wildlife and agriculture in the Great Karoo. The co-evolution of both animals and plants in this region had created an ecosystem which fluctuated with the drought and rain cycles but sustained a broad diversity of life. This arid and semi-arid zone might not appear fragile but it has undergone drastic changes over the years which were brought about in part by agricultural practices that served humans but not the environment. The decimation of large mammals and apex predator species is easily noticed but the knock-on effect has diminished even the plant diversity.

More photographs of varying images are in stock. Photographs are mounted on acid-free backing and can be rolled up in a tube for easy transportation.

The Landmark Foundation was initially set up to mitigate the effect of hunting and agriculture on leopard populations in the Western Cape. The resulting shepherding program is intended to bring about changes in wildlife and livestock management while reaping the social benefits of employment and education for local farm workers. Two years of shepherding oversight of a livestock herd numbering up to 3000 animals has resulted in no losses to predators, in an area where some farmers lose 30% of their lambs each season, particularly to the two “villains” of the piece, the Rooikat and the Jackal. Shepherding avoids the need for cruel hunting practices, such as non-discriminating traps and poisons, while constant oversight ensures optimal health for the herd. Carefully managed grazing cycles, in imitation of historical wild herds, have re-invigorated these pastures in the Nuweveldberge and with the removal of fences and consequent freedom of movement, wild life is also able to benefit from the improving veld.

 

Please visit www.landmarkfoundation.org.za for a deeper understanding of their invaluable work and dedication.

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