Tony Park and Maya von Dach Join Forces to Support Endangered Species
Renowned author Tony Park and Swiss conservation volunteer Maya von Dach have come together to raise funds for endangered species through Wildlife ACT, using the power of the written word. Their collaboration began when von Dach recognized the need to translate Park’s action-packed novels set in African game reserves into German for a wider audience. The conversation quickly turned to their shared love for Africa, wildlife, and conservation efforts on the continent.
A Passionate Collaboration
“Maya emailed me expressing her love for my books and offered to translate them into German since only one had been released in German so far,” said Park. “When we discussed the translation fee, Maya suggested that a percentage of the proceeds be donated to Wildlife ACT instead. I thought this was a fantastic way to give back to a cause dear to both of our hearts.”
The Importance of Protecting Endangered Species
Wildlife ACT is a non-profit conservation organization based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Their focus is on on-the-ground efforts to conserve endangered species, with a particular emphasis on the critically endangered African Wild Dog, Black Rhino, and various Vulture species found in South Africa. Supported by the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife ACT has provided free professional monitoring services to over ten protected areas in Zululand for 15 years.
Chris Kelly, Wildlife ACT co-founder, expressed his excitement about partnering with Tony and Maya, stating, “We are proud to have implemented professional and strategic monitoring and research that has enabled effective conservation management for over a decade. None of this would have been possible without our partners and supporters.”
Von Dach and her husband Manfred have volunteered with Wildlife ACT multiple times, gaining firsthand experience of the conservation work being done and the support required. “Our time volunteering with Wildlife ACT was life-changing,” said von Dach. “We tracked and monitored African Wild Dogs, photographed them, and observed other key species. It was an incredible experience.”
A United Passion for Conservation
Despite not being African-born, both Park and von Dach share an immense passion for African wildlife and its protected areas. Park’s novels, often focusing on conservation and the fight against poaching and illegal trade, resonated deeply with von Dach, who encountered these issues while volunteering with Wildlife ACT. “I read Tony Park’s thrilling books whenever I longed for Africa,” said von Dach. “Translating his books for a wonderful cause feels like a natural progression.”
Park, embedded in the world of conservation, supports various wildlife charities and is the patron of the Painted Dog Conservation Inc. He also auctions the rights for people to have their names used as characters in his novels to raise funds. With von Dach as the translator, Park aims to maximize the funds raised for Wildlife ACT by independently publishing his books in German-speaking areas.
The first translated novel, ‘Ghosts of the Past,’ set in Namibia, has just been released as ‘Geister der Vergangenheit.’ Two more novels, ‘Okavango’ set in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, and ‘Silent Hunter’ set in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, will be released later this year. Park expressed his excitement about the collaboration and the opportunity for more people to read his books while supporting a cause close to his heart.