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This Easter, World Land Trust Patron and wildlife presenter Steve Backshall and his wife, Olympic champion rower Helen, kayaked 125 miles non-stop from Devizes in Wiltshire to the Houses of Parliament at Westminster in the classic DW race.
They raced to raise funds to protect a section of rainforest in Malaysian Borneo, saving it from being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations and safeguarding the wealth of threatened wildlife found there.
Species found in the Bornean rainforest include:
- Bornean Orang-utan, classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN. An estimated 1,000 individuals are resident within the Lower Kinabatangan floodplain.
- Nine other species of primate are found in the Kinabatangan area: Proboscis Monkey; Western Tarsir ; Long-tailed Macaque; Pig-tailed Macaque; Hose's Langur; Silvered Langur; Maroon Langur; Bornean Gibbon and Slow Loris.
- Bornean Pygmy Elephant, classified as Endangered by IUCN. An estimated population of 300 individuals is found within the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain.
- Sunda Pangolin, classified Critically Endangered by the IUCN, the most heavily trafficked animal in the world.
Any money you give will be doing something practical to save the spectacular wildlife of one of the world’s most diverse and threatened places.
"We're putting ourselves through hell training for it but it's all for a very good cause. Our friends at World Land Trust are aiming to protect a section of Bornean rainforest, saving it for the Proboscis Monkeys, the Orang-utans, the Pygmy Elephants and all the other astounding animals that live there. From the cicadas that deafen you at dusk, to the fireflies that light up the riverside like a thousand Christmas trees, this place is paradise, let’s work together to protect it, forever." - Steve Backshall
Known as the DW, the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race involves paddling a staggering 125 miles and carrying your boat around 77 locks. Steve has now completed the race three times, including in 2015, when he raised £50,000 to extend Las Tangaras reserve in Colombia.
The race took place from 14-17 April 2017.
Steve and Helen will be speaking about their kayaking challenge and why they're racing to help save Borneo's forests at Ibstock Place School on Friday 5 May