Katharine Lowrie

Meet the re­mark­able woman who ran 10,000km – all in the name of wildlife.

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Reviews Books -

What’s your book about?

My hus­band, David, and I both love run­ning and wildlife. In July 2012, we set off from the south­ern-most tip of South Amer­ica to run the length of the con­ti­nent. It took us 15 months to com­plete. We ran marathons back to back for days on end and lived life at its rawest, camp­ing wild and wash­ing in ditches. The book charts our ad­ven­ture.

What made you take it on?

It was all for wildlife. We wanted to in­spire, to prove that we can tackle seem­ingly in­sur­mount­able chal­lenges: it’s not too late to pro­tect our last un­spoilt ecosys­tems. We raised money for BirdLife, Aso­ciación Ar­monía and Con­ser­vación Patagónica.

What surveying did you man­age on your jour­ney?

We did a bird point-count (a tally of birds heard and seen from a spe­cific lo­ca­tion) each morn­ing in the south, and a species count each day. We recorded 453 species and 6,154 in­di­vid­ual birds, many of which are en­dan­gered, and sub­mit­ted our records to uni­ver­si­ties and to eBird (an on­line check­list).

What were your most mem­o­rable en­coun­ters?

Eye­balling a gi­ant anteater suck­ing up ter­mites and a huge yel­low rat­snake de­vour­ing a mouse a few cen­time­tres from our heads.

How did wildlife spur you?

Wildlife was our mo­ti­va­tion. We were of­ten hun­gry, ex­hausted and con­se­quently bad-tem­pered, but when an ar­madillo scut­tled across our tracks or a gi­ant stick-in­sect som­er­saulted into view any dis­putes would dis­solve.

How did you share the con­ser­va­tion mes­sage?

We spoke to 2,000 stu­dents and groups in uni­ver­si­ties and schools (some of which had never had vis­i­tors from their own coun­try, let alone from two muddy grin­gos!). We also wrote ar­ti­cles and set up an on­line class­room.

Which land­scape was most chal­leng­ing?

Argentinia­n Patag­o­nia. Hur­ri­cane-force winds sweep­ing off the An­des were ex­cru­ci­at­ing to run against.

How do you feel you’ve made a dif­fer­ence?

I hope we have ig­nited a pas­sion for na­ture among the peo­ple we met, and have re­minded peo­ple that run­ning is a fan­tas­tic way to find wildlife.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.