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Frontline Conservation: Sketching out a Future for Endangered Species

Visiting Explorer Program with Robert Ferguson and special guest Andrea Heydlauff

News and views from the front line in the battle to stop species extinction, from the deployment of anti-poaching dogs to the role of technology, telling first-hand accounts of those who risk their lives every day fighting poachers.

It is estimated that an elephant is poached for its ivory every 26 minutes. The charity campaign Sketch for Survival asks professional artists, illustrators and celebrities to donate a 26 minute sketch to highlight this shocking statistic, the artworks being auctioned online at the end of the campaign to raise funds for frontline conservation projects.

The Sketch for Survival collection comprises over 450 works from artists in over 30 countries and featuring many endangered species from polar bears to beetles, parrots to pangolins. There will be a capsule collection available to view at The Explorers Club on the night, comprising the sketches of our US artists and selected others. The collection will be on display at the Salmagundi Club on the 15-17th November 1-6pm.

Robert Ferguson is a Trustee of the Explorers against Extinction charity. In this role he has worked on conservation projects with Save the Elephants, Save the Rhino International, Rhino Conservation Botswana, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Ol Pejeta Reserve in Kenya. In 2018 he is working with the leading NGO African Parks to provide anti-poaching dogs to Garamba National Park in Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as working with the Govt. of Nepal on a three year project to secure their three tiger reserves. He is an advisor to the non-profit Animals Saving Animals organisation who train and deploy anti-poaching dogs to National Parks and Reserves across Africa and Asia.

His own travels have taken him all over the globe. Highlights include hiking coast to coast across Borneo and explored the Hindu Kush, Karakoram and Himalaya mountain ranges, climbing to over 21,000 feet in the process. He has trekked the Simien and Bale Mountains of Ethiopia, climbed Mt. Kenya and travelled the Old Silk Road from Beijing to Karachi across the Taklimakan Desert. He has explored the Tibetan Plateau and the far west of Myanmar by jeep.

In September 2018 he visited Sumatra, Indonesia, to visit Orang-utan and Sumatran elephant projects.

On his travels he's been shot at, charged by a Black Rhino, been rescued from a 150 ft ice crevasse, performed surgery in a remote village in Morocco, given the kiss of life at 16,000 ft and been detained by the Turkish Army. He was also once chased out of a bar in South Africa by a warthog.

Robert is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London and is a retained travel writer for Footprint Travel Guides in the UK, editing their Nepal Handbook.

Robert will be joined by special guest, Andrea Heydlauff.

Heydlauff is the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for conservation organization African Parks (AP). Prior to joining AP, she was the founding employee of Panthera where she served as Senior Vice President for eight years and helped establish them as the leading big cat conservation organisation. Before that, Andrea managed the Tiger Program for the Wildlife Conservation Society across nine countries in Asia, and was a co-author on “Setting Priorities for the Conservation and Recovery of Wild Tigers: 2005 – 2015”. Born in England, Andrea earned her B.A. in British Literature and M.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Arizona where her thesis focused on human-wildlife conflict. Over 17 years, Andrea has written and co-authored numerous scientific and popular publications on conservation, has spoken widely at conferences and is an award-winning filmmaker. Her interests lie heavily in human dimensions, community engagement, education, media and creative storytelling.

African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation that takes on the complete responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. With the largest counter-poaching force and the most amount of area under protection for any one NGO in Africa, African Parks manages 15 national parks and protected areas in nine countries covering 10.5 million hectares in Benin, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Zambia. For more information visit

Date: Wednesday, November 14

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Club Headquarters, 46 E 70th Street, New York, NY, 10021

Member Ticket Price: $10

Guest Ticket Price: $15

Reservation Notes:

Click here to purchase tickets online

Reservations are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis. To secure a reservation, you may also call us at 212.628.8383 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste