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Air Shepherd's Newsletter May 2016

“Happy Anniversary”. . . . .  89th!

 
The month of May stands out as a very special time of year for the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, as we pay tribute to Charles Lindbergh on this 89th anniversary of his solo “First Flight” across the Atlantic!  On 20 May 1927, “The Spirit of St. Louis” took to the skies from a small airfield in New York, and landed 32 hours later in Paris, thereby launching a new era in the world of aviation forever.  On this notable occasion, we are delighted to share recollections from Charles and Anne’s youngest daughter, Reeve, with you: 

The Spirit of St. Louis feels to me like a member of my family. I see that little airplane as one of those courageous pioneer ancestors we are proud to have in the family history, though we did not actually know them during our own lives. 

As the youngest of Charles and Anne Lindbergh’s children, I came of age in the 1960’s. The Spirit of St. Louis had been hanging in the Smithsonian museum for many years. I was aware that my father was known to most people as a famous pilot, but I knew him best as a conservationist. Steeped in science and in aviation technology as a young man, he came to love the earth and its creatures as few others had done. He had watched the natural world reveal itself beneath his wings for half a century.
 
Charles giving away in marriage his daughter Reeve.

The famous non-stop solo flight from NY to Paris was years behind him by the time I was born, but my father never stopped flying. He traveled to promote aviation during the year following the New York to Paris flight, and he flew in the 1930’s with my mother as his co-pilot and navigator, establishing early air routes for the aviation industry. He flew missions in the Pacific in World War 2, and by the time I was in my teens he flew all over the globe, seeking what he called “balance,” between the technology he had advanced through aviation and the natural world he loved.
  
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Charles A. Lindbergh, 1968 (courtesy of Richard Brown)

He took his children flying over the farms and forests of Connecticut and camping in the Florida Everglades. When I was twenty, just starting my own adult life, he took us camping again throughout the game parks of East Africa. I knew how much it meant to him to understand and respect wildness, even as he continued to be wholeheartedly engaged in aviation technology, biomedical advancement and even early aerospace exploration.
 
Rhinos in a row, South Africa (courtesy of Charlene Stenhouse)

I can imagine no greater tribute to my father’s memory than the work of Air Shepherd, no more perfect blend of technological progress and the preservation of the natural world. I keep thinking of one of my favorite phrases in my father’s writing -“The human future depends upon our ability to combine the knowledge of science and the wisdom of wildness.”  Thanks to all who support Air Shepherd, for your wise and wonderful work in my father’s name.

Poachers……. Caught!

 
Check out the most recent footage captured by our drones Poachers on the Runuber cool!

And disrupting poachers’ intentions is just the beginning - it gives you an idea of what to expect as operations expand - and what a treat to know that a rhino (or two), lived to see another day on this particular occasion.

HELP?


We will be launching a major crowdfunding campaign – our biggest ever! - next month, and are looking for some help.  Specifically, if you have experience in running an Indiegogo campaign, we would like to hear from you.  Please send an email to info@airshepherd.org with “Indiegogo Help” in the subject line, to initiate the conversation.

FLIR’s Thermal Imaging Technology Aids the Fight Against Wildlife Poaching

 
Assisting our drone operations, the FLIR Vue Pro thermal imaging camera has proven to be a tremendously valuable tool in our fight against poaching, and this is just the beginning.  Meet our latest hero - FLIR’s Vertical Marketing Director, Andrew Saxton – who recounts how our partnership took shape:

It started in my living room when I saw ABC’s Nightline’s segment on combating wildlife poaching in South Africa. The drone coverage on screen had FLIR’s logo watermarked in the bottom right corner. Immediately I knew that my team had to reach out.
  
FLIR’s Andrew Sexton and the latest Vue Pro Thermal Imaging Camera

Last year we launched a series of cameras, made specifically for drones. The FLIR Vue and FLIR Vue Pro are compact, lightweight and easy to install, making it simple for operators to mount the camera on their drone. Having thermal imaging capabilities was something commercial drone operators had always requested, and we made it possible with this new line of technology.

All kinds of stories about how people in the industry were using the FLIR Vue Pro started coming in, but we took special note of Air Shepherd’s cause. To see our technology being used so successfully as a force for good instantly piqued our interest.

We reached out a few months ago to see if there was any way we could donate products in support of their critical mission, and a partnership was born. Right now, we’ve donated four FLIR Vue Pro cameras to help scale Air Shepherd’s efforts to other preserves in South Africa. We’re hoping that this is just the beginning. If the FLIR Vue Pro continues to prove successful, we’ll hopefully be able to donate more products.

Thermal imaging technology has proven instrumental in the fight against poaching, and Air Shepherd is definitely a leader in the space for their early adoption of it. Aligning our technology with Air Shepherd’s worthy cause will help put a stop to the global problem of wildlife poaching. We look forward to the future of this partnership.

The AMAZING Next Generation – “Thank You Charlotte!”


With much thanks to 11-year old Charlotte, from Portland, OR, Air Shepherd is the fortunate recipient of her generosity! 

For this year’s birthday party, rather than asking for presents, she requested her friends contribute to Air Shepherd instead, gifts which totaled, are you ready for this………
a whopping $422.00 - WOW!
 
When asked why she decided to forego presents, Charotte replied, "I heard that elephants would go extinct in 10 years if we don't do something about it.  I don't think any animal deserves to go extinct, so I wanted to help stop that from happening. I really love elephants and my birthday was coming up, so I decided to raise money instead of receiving presents because the elephants need it more than me."

Charlotte’s mom first learned about Air Shepherd on Facebook, and per Charlotte, "I thought it was horrible that elephants were getting killed just for their tusks. I loved that wherever Air Shepherd drones were, elephants and rhinos weren't getting poached.  I think Air Shepherd is a great organization and deserves our support. I want to thank Air Shepherd for doing the best they can to save the elephants and rhinos. I wish I could do more! "

“Dear Air Shepherd”                         

 
Initiated in March, this column has been added to respond to your questions. If there is something you would like to know about our operations, please email your question to info@airshepherd.org, with “Dear Air Shepherd” in the subject line.  We will respond, and include your question, in a following newsletter.
 
Dear Air Shepherd ~
How did you decided to start the program in South Africa and how does Air Shepherd think about expanding to other areas?"
Signed, DJ Dailey, Colorado
 
Dear DJ:
South Africa was the perfect place to launch Air Shepherd operations for three reasons:
  1. “UAV and Drone Solutions” (UDS) – one of our key partners – is responsible for designing, building and operating our drones, and UDS is based in South Africa.
  2. Because more rhinos live in South Africa than anywhere else in the world, the country is literally embroiled in a “war” on poaching, where Air Shepherd operations are desperately needed.
  3. It is hoped that when populations begin to recover, the rhino in Kruger National Park will play a pivotal role in terms of providing genetic diversity, which is all the more reason to insure their survival.
 
UDS’ introduces its newest drone, the super stealthy “Bathawk”
 
With the success of our operations in South Africa, and because of the dire circumstances facing wildlife elsewhere, Air Shepherd has been asked to assist in a number of neighboring countries.  How we do this depends on how quickly internal agreements and contracts can be approved.  Required documentation varies per country, but to give you an idea, government approvals are mandatory, with the civil aviation authorities, military and intelligence agencies often involved in addition to wildlife management officials.  Flying drones in any country is becoming a complicated, time consuming process, but worth every effort when a rhino or elephant lives to see another day!
 
 “Big Thanks to DJ” for writing in with such good questions!  Send us your queries for next month. 
 

Air Shepherd at ILA Berlin

 
Air Shepherd has been invited to participate in the upcoming ILA Berlin event, arguably the largest airshow in Germany and one of the biggest in all of Europe. Tina Pirazzi, our Program Director will be there and we’ll have one of our drones on display.
 
With much thanks to our good friends and hosts for this event -  Caballero and Hesselbarth Consulting GmbH – we are delighted to be showcasing Air Shepherd in Germany!  If you happen to be in Berlin 1-4 June, please be sure to visit ILA Berlin, please come by to say “Hallo”! 

….. just in time for a German Website

 
With much hard work and dedicated effort from volunteers across the planet, we are delighted to announce the addition of a German version to the Air Shepherd website, which will be available just in time for ILA Berlin.  When you see the German flag in the upper right corner, click here and prepare to be amazed – Air Shepherd is equally devoted to preventing “Ausrottung” (a.k.a. extinction) in German too.

OVER AND OUT (for now)….

 
This month takes us back to the early days of aviation, with the 89th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s iconic first flight, 20-21 May, while catapulting us into the future, with the tremendous gift of FLIR’s next generation thermal imaging cameras and drone footage that captures poachers on the run – surely the Lindbergh’s would be proud!
 
And “proud” is the understatement when we hear from individuals like Charlotte, and other young people who are helping to light the way for the future of wildlife. With the fire of activism burning bright in the next generation, combined with tremendous advances in aviation and technology, there is at least a glimmer of hope for the continued survival of elephants and rhinos, beyond the 10 year predicted extinction.
 

Four bull elephants at play, Namibia (courtesy of George Powell)
 
On behalf of the entire Air Shepherd team, we thank you for partnering with us, helping us keep eyes in the sky, insuring that rhinos and elephants live to see another day, another year, and beyond!
 
Where we fly, poaching stops!
 
The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation
P.O. Box 861
Berkeley Springs, WV 25411 USA
Telephone: 1-304-258-6855
info@lindberghfoundation.org
www.lindberghfoundation.org
www.airshepherd.org
https://www.facebook.com/AirShepherd/
https://twitter.com/airshepherd
https://www.pinterest.com/Airshepherd/
 
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Copyright © 2016 The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, All rights reserved.


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