We interview Martin Royle about the vision behind his ecotour company Royle Safaris. We talk about how much work has gone into designing tours that actually see (rather than search for) Javan Rhinos and Siberian Tigers, plus the cascading conservation benefits that come from small scale ecotourism. And we hear about some of Martin’s adventures along the way, including that time he thought a Tiger had eaten his friend.

Here is the YouTube trailer.

Charles Foley and Jon Hall talk to mammalwatchers, biologists, conservationists and those with a passion for observing and protecting the world’s wild mammals. Half hour episodes will be released every two weeks. Look for “mammalwatching” (one word) on your podcast platform.

Martin and his son, Tiger.

From a young age Martin Royle knew he wanted to work with wildlife.

After graduating from Manchester University with a degree in Zoology he began gaining experience around the world working with animals in the wild. From bear rehabilitation in the Ecuadorian Andes and rescuing cetaceans in Scotland to breeding rare neotropical frogs and tagging and researching sharks in South Africa & Australia he circled the globe gathering experience and contacts in conservation and wildlife research.

At the age of 25 he set up a pioneering wildlife watching tour company –  Royle Safaris – that specializes in trips in search of the world’s most endangered and elusive mammals. His tours have successfully shown clients species like Giant Pandas, Javan Rhinos and Siberian Tigers.

He firmly believes that sustainable ecotourism is fundamental to protecting key chunks of the world’s remaining wilderness. Over the last 5 years ecotourism projects in the Russian Far East, Indonesia and elsewhere have become central to Royle Safaris’ work, and Martin is also Vice-president of Trees for Tigers, a non-profit which works to reforest areas of tiger habitat in the Russian Far East as well as being actively involved in their ongoing research and conservation.

Martin’s own mammal list now stands at over 1,100 species of mammals.

Notes: Martin has a heap of trip reports on mammalwatching.com, just search for “Royle”, including a 2018 trip to Java, and 2017 in Sibera. If you want to read about – or donate to – the Trees for Tigers non-profit then click here.   And here is something from the BBC about Spain’s rogue Orcas. Cover art – Siberian Tiger – by Alexander Batalov.

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