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VIDEO CONTEST WINNER - 1ST PLACE

Badru’s Story: Early Warnings From Inside an Impenetrable African Forest

“Badru’s Story,” which documents the work of researchers in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, is the first-place winner of the Yale Environment 360 Video Contest. Filmmakers Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele trek along with scientist Badru Mugerwa and his team as they monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife.

Each year Badru Mugerwa sets 60 camera traps in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda to monitor life in one of Africa’s most diverse forests, home to roughly half the world’s mountain gorillas. As site manager for the TEAM Network, a global web of field stations, Badru collects images and data that serve as an early warning system for the loss of biodiversity and the impact of climate change in tropical forests.

In this six-minute video, winner of the 2014 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest, Benjamin Drummond and Sara Joy Steele document the researchers’ work in Bwindi’s remote, mountainous landscape. For the filmmakers, just preventing their equipment from snagging on the dense understory while trying to keep up with Badru and his colleagues posed a serious challenge. But their efforts were rewarded with remarkable camera-trap images of the park’s primates, elephants, anteaters, and leopards – striking evidence of what is at stake in Bwindi and the world’s tropical forests.

As a Ugandan wildlife manager tells Drummond and Steele, “This is the only forest on earth where you find gorillas and chimpanzees feeding together. Where shall we get it again?”

About the contest: “Badru’s Story” is the winner of the 2014 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest. Entries were received from four continents, with a prize of $2,000 going to the first-place winner.