Underdogs - African wild dogs
In late 2008 Neil began planning his first ambitious conservation photo story. He began working alongside researchers from the Endangered Wildlife Trust and Northern Tuli Predator Project in early 2009. Over the next two years, he tracked and photographed a small population of African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), one of the most endangered carnivores on the planet, in a remote corner of northern South Africa and eastern Botswana.
The project's photography was celebrated in an iCLP exhibition in the United States and seen by over three million people worldwide as part of the 2010 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and book. In 2012, the project picked up an award in the International Conservation Photography Awards and in 2015 it was commended in the Threatened Species Photoreport category of the Nature Images Awards.
Unfortunately, almost all of the wild dogs that Neil photographed were killed at the hands of humans, adding extra weight to the need for the project to achieve its original aims of giving something back to African wild dog conservation. As a self-generated and personally-funded project, Neil made no financial profit from Underdogs. However, he was able to make donations in excess of $1,500 to wild dog projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa through sales of the book.
The 156-page hardback book Underdogs is now sold out. Please feel free to enjoy the gallery below which showcases many of the best images from the project.
Neil published Underdogs as a book in 2011 and it influenced a number of readers to commit their own time and money to volunteering on wild dog conservation projects in Africa. The following infographic shows some of the key stats behind the project and the book.