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An Expedition to Conserve a Lost Mountain

The Lost Mountain is a collaboration of scientists, conservationists, and adventurers unified in an effort to survey the biodiversity and conservation needs, to raise awareness, and to build partnerships for the conservation of Mt. Namuli in Mozambique. The study and resulting documentary film and radio will also showcase Malawi’s Mt Mulanje and the critical role both mountains play in the survival of East African biodiversity and the advancement of the livelihood of the region’s rural population. 

Photo courtesy of The Lost Mountain

Mt. Namuli, a 7,936-foot granite monolith, is the largest of a group of isolated peaks that tower over the ancient valleys of northern Mozambique.  Here, plants and animals have evolved as if on dispersed oceanic islands, so that individual mountains have become refuge to their own unique species of life, many of which have yet to be discovered or described by science. Yet despite these distinctions, it has no conservation status. The Lost Mountain Project, Phase I, will complete the necessary integrated conservation plan for the Namuli: merging human livelihood advancement, agricultural health, key biological protection zones, and access to create a way forward for the Namuli community.  The pairing of this plan with the film and radio media will successfully launch Phase II—implementation of the conservation plan—with local and international backing.

Photo courtesy of The Lost Mountain

International producer, professional climber, and author Majka Burhardt leads a team including fellow climber Kate Rutherford, herpetologist Werner Conradie, from the Port Elizabeth Museum in South Africa and Gary Alpert, entomologist at Harvard University.  Working with them is Mozambique-based conservation group LUPA. Together, the team will:

  • Search for new species of insects and reptiles that will link this fragile and vital mountain to the evolution of East Africa’s wildlife
  • Build a conservation plan with the local community and a team of Mozambique-based conservationists that will ensure a thriving future for one of the world’s most precious biodiversity hotspots
  • Share the Lost Mountain story in a documentary film about the spirit of exploration and what happens when adventure becomes a nexus for art, science, and global change

Photo courtesy of The Lost Mountain

In August The Lost Mountain conducted a successful Kickstarter Campaign, which, along with their current supporters—including 1% for the Planet members Patagonia and Clif Bar—have allowed them to press, “Go” on the project.  We begin our fieldwork and shooting in May 2014.  We’ve also had a successful Reconnaissance Expedition to Namuli in November of 2011. This expedition served as a rapid assessment of the area and established both the viability of technical access to the 2,000-foot face and the presence of new species. 

The Lost Mountain is currently raising funds for the following final elements:

  • Radio Production: in-country radio broadcasts about the project to local and regional Mozambican and Malawian audiences. Needed: $10,000
  • Associate Scientist Funding: help us bring local African scientists onto our team and build capacity and collaboration. Needed: 2, $4,000 stipends
  • Post Production Partnerships: Every dollar we raise allows us to increase the production value of the media we create.

Want to get involved? Support the Lost Mountain and become a donor today. Also, don’t forget to share The Lost Mountain with your network, media contacts, and help build our grassroots PR campaign. Join our Connector Team by emailing Majka.

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