Archive for Mammals

Underdogs available on Amazon across Europe…

Posted in African Wildlife, Conservation Photography, Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 6, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

New my African wild dog book Underdogs is now available on Amazon for delivery across Europe. The book can be ordered in the UK on, in France on and in Germany on

With over 140 wildlife photographs, Underdogs celebrates what is special about the endangered African wild dog. Acute senses, a lightweight body, unrivaled stamina and power in numbers may make the wild dog one of Africa’s most efficient hunters but these remarkable characteristics saw the species fare badly with the arrival of big game hunters in Africa in the late 1800s. This charismatic carnivore has been an underdog in its fight to find its place in a developing continent ever since.

Over three years, I worked closely with trackers and researchers to follow, photograph and understand the African wild dog. The result is a book that explores the ecology of a remarkable species and looks at what makes it one of Africa’s most efficient carnivores. Underdogs also explores the reasons behind the decline of the wild dog and champions the efforts being made to secure a future for the species in South Africa and beyond.

Many of the book’s photographs have achieved acclaim in major international competitions and exhibitions but Underdogs is the first time all of these award-winning photographs can be seen in one place and brought into context.

See more of the photographs on

Only days left to pre-order your signed copy of Underdogs…

Posted in African Wildlife, Conservation, Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Don’t miss out on the chance to get a signed copy of my new African wild dog book Underdogs at a special pre-publication rate. With 23% off the retail price, you can order online via my main website at and donations from sales will be made towards valuable conservation work aimed to secure a future for this endangered species.

You can also see selected pages from the book on my website. Underdogs will soon be available through selected booksellers at the full retail price.

See more on my website

13 December 2011 – Natural History Museum

Posted in African Wildlife, Conservation, Photography, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Join me at London’s Natural History Museum on Tuesday the 13th of December 2011 where I will be giving a free Nature Live talk about the endangered African wild dog. Discover what makes this fascinating carnivore such an efficient predator, learn why it has been wiped out from 25 of the 39 countries it once called home and hear how conservation bodies are working to arrest the decline in numbers and secure its future.

This short talk will be followed by an opportunity for you to ask questions about these charismatic canids and my work following and photographing them. I will be illustrating my talk with images from my new book Underdogs, which will also be available to buy following the talk. Visit the Natural History Museum website to find out more details.

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Underdogs is here…

Posted in African Wildlife, Conservation, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

I’m really excited to announce that I am now taking pre-publication orders for my African wild dog book Underdogs. Place your order now and you will receive a signed copy with a 23% discount off the cover price in time for Christmas. What’s more, a percentage of all sales will be donated to valuable African wild dog conservation work.

This book has been three years in the making. I have written and photographed it and the foreword is supplied by Professor Peter Neville. The photography has won a host of awards already, including a highly commended in the international Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and a place in an ILCP exhibition in the United States of America.

Many of the animals that I followed closely over the life of this project have been killed, making me more determined to do justice to my time spent with them. Stellar, the iconic alpha female and subject of my Wildlife Photographer of the Year image Survivor, was killed earlier this year by poachers along with her alpha mate.

The species is endangered and it is estimated that there are little more than 3,000 left in the wild with numbers still falling. I hope to raise enough money to make a significant donation towards the research and protection of these beautifully charismatic creatures. I will be posting updates on my blog over the coming months so you can keep track of how your contribution is making a difference.

If you want to learn more about African wild dogs or get a book signed in person, why not join me as I return to the Natural History Museum in London on the 13th of December. I will be delivering a Nature Live talk all about these charismatic canids and taking your questions.

Order your copy now at

Underdogs is coming…

Posted in African Wildlife, Photography, Take Action, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

…help choose the cover photo.

My African wild dog book Underdogs will soon be available to order but first I want your help to choose a cover photo. Look at the four photographs below and then vote for your favourite in the poll.

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Ripples in the reeds

Posted in European Wildlife, Photography, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

‘Beaver!’ Remek’s outstretched arm pointed to a shady patch in the shallows under some river-side vegetation. My usually sharp eyes struggled to find anything vaguely animal-like in the dark waters. A sudden loud splash signalled where the young beaver had grown tired of my ineptitude and disappeared beneath the surface, slapping his tail in disgust as he went.

I was on the Emajogi, a river in southern Estonia, with wildlife filmmaker and photographer Remek Meel. Having watched, researched, filmed and photographed beavers in his native Estonia for almost all of his life, Remek has become the country’s beaver specialist. It is these years of experience of looking for beavers that makes Remek able to locate them simply by looking for what he calls ‘strange ripples’ coming from within reeds or from under overhanging vegetation. Perhaps that’s where I was going wrong – I was looking for mud-brown creatures against a mud-brown, shadowy backdrop in the fading light just before sunset.

As we went on and I had slipped into Remek’s method, it became easier to spot them. We were picking them out at such a rate that we eventually lost count once we passed the mark of Remek’s record for an evening’s Beaver watching. It was at this point that it became clear just how healthy the Beaver population has become in Estonia. Beavers were once ruthlessly hunted in Europe and by the start of the 20th Century had disappeared from all but a handful of waterways in Germany, France, Norway and Belarus. Reintroduction programmes and the introduction of protection measures have seen them make a remarkable comeback across the continent though. The UK is following suite now too with breeding, monitoring and reintroduction projects developing across the country, such as the one at the renowned Aigas Field Centre in the Scottish Highlands.

The close viewing opportunities and Remek’s infectious enthusiasm for these semi-aquatic mammals make spending a day on the Emajogi River with him an absolute must for any wildlife watcher or photographer visiting Estonia. A selection of Remek’s work can be seen on his Nature Observer website but to be shown how to look for those ripples in the reeds yourself, contact Estonian Nature Tours directly.

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Fighting for her legacy…

Posted in African Wildlife, Conservation, Poaching, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

I was always sobered by the experience of finding dead wild dogs while photographing for my book Underdogs. These are endangered creatures that I have dedicated the last three years of my career to and so I would like to think that my reaction is understandable. That said, nothing could have prepared me for the news that came through from South Africa that Stellar, the iconic alpha female of my Wildlife Photographer of the Year photograph Survivor, was dead.

Stellar’s life was characterised by tragic events. She had lost alpha mates and litters during her stressful and luckless existence on both Madikwe Game Reserve and Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve. When she was translocated to KwaZulu-Natal’s Mkhuze Game Reserve in 2010 she had the chance of a fresh start and to put the troubles of the past behind her. For almost a year it seemed that she had done just that in raising a litter of four pups through their most challenging period in life. Sadly, Stellar, her alpha mate and one of their pups were recently found to be the victims of snares.

It is a difficult balance to strike for conservationists but the dropping of fences between protected reserves to create larger conservation areas often opens up land to poaching and the threat of disease. The death of Stellar and her family at the same time as other deaths in South Africa’s fragile wild dog population highlights the fight that conservation authorities, game rangers and anti-poaching scouts still have on their hands if the species is to be saved.

As I put the finishing touches to my book Underdogs, the fight on my hands is to do justice to the time that Stellar allowed me into her world. I am hoping that the book will not only raise greater awareness of these charismatic canids and the threats to their survival but that it will help to raise funds for greater protection and invaluable research. Keep an eye on my blog or website and follow me on twitter or facebook to find out when Underdogs is available and how you can help the African wild dog.

Visit my main website at