The Bateleurs

Project LocationJohannesburg, South Africa
Project TypeWildlife and habitat conservation
Local People Employed1 (plus 190 volunteer pilots)

The Bateleurs

The Bateleurs is an unique organisation of pilot members, who give their aviation skills, the use of their privately-owned aircraft, and their time for free in support of conservation and the environment in Africa.

This non-profit organization, has over 180 pilots who volunteer their time to carry out conservation missions such as: identifying illegal mining, roads and housing; tracking cheetah, wild dog, leopard and elephant; as well as wildlife surveys, game counts and translocations. The pilots frequently assist conservationists with aerial surveys that save personnel hours or even days on the ground.

The Bateleurs came into being in 1998 and since then have flown in excess of 400 diverse missions throughout 10 different countries in support of conservation and environmental issues. The volunteer pilots donate their own aircraft and time to fly these operations, thereby reducing the organisation’s operational costs by up to 70%. By assisting more than 120 beneficiary organisations, The Bateleurs provide conservation organisations, decision-makers, researchers, educators, NGOs and the media with information which assists them in making sound decisions. There is no charge to any of these organisations for the missions flown for them by The Bateleurs.

Tusk Support

Funding from Tusk has supported many missions in southern Africa this past year. Tusk’s recent contribution to the Bateleurs has helped to cover their operational expenses, enabling them to expand and continue their much needed support.

Notes from the field
In 2013, the Bateluers have responded to requests to survey alien invasive plants, sand mining in rivers, and habitat for Cape Parrots. In addition, we have flown missions to track collared leopards and brown hyenas, to count hippos, wattled cranes, Verreaux eagles, and carnivores in Zambia as well as to relocate wild dogs, ground hornbills, and lions between reserves. We have also helped to put in place a weather station at the top of a mountain pass.
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