Land Rover has chosen seven competition winners to travel to Africa in November 2010 for two weeks to work with researchers and scientists in the conservation of big cats such as leopards and cheetahs.
Using rugged Land Rover vehicles to negotiate the tough terrain, the team will study, capture and collar big cats as well as meet local communities to discuss human-wildlife contact.
Of the seven competition winners, five of them are from the UK, ranging from a Finance Accounts Manager to film director.
The other two winners of the competition were an Italian and a Spaniard. All of the contestants were trained in driving a Land Rover across difficult terrain and how to use GPS systems to record data on the animals.
Land Rover, under criticism from eco-groups, joined a carbon offsetting scheme in 2006 and has refined and enhanced its engines to lower emissions across its range.
The manufacturer has also introduced the Range Rover Evoque, the most environmentally friendly Land Rover model ever built with emissions of just 145g/km from the 150bhp 2.2-litre turbodisel engine.
The brand is also exploring electric and hybrid technology, although a release date for a hybrid version has not been set.
Biosphere Expeditions, which is leading the new research, uses Land Rover vehicles throughout Africa because of their unrivalled off-road ability.
“Without Land Rover’s support we would not be able to access the remote areas where we undertake our scientific research and as such Land Rover’s support is fundamental to the success of our expeditions.”Dr. Matthias Hammer, Executive Director, Biosphere Expeditions.