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You are here: BBC > Science & Nature > TV & Radio Follow-up > Programmes > Lost Land of the Jaguar
The Expedition Guyana team
Lost Land of the Jaguar – meet the team

George McGavin, Steve Backshall, Justine Evans, Gordon Buchanan, Raquel Thomas and Dan Huertas talk about their best moments in the Guyanan wilderness.

George Mcgavin

George McGavin is an Honorary Research Associate at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the Department of Zoology of Oxford University. He is also Visiting Professor of Entomology at the University of Derby. George is an expert on tropical insects.

George's best moments: 'Teasing a giant tarantula out of its hole and then holding it in my hand was a real highlight of the trip. We had spent quite a while searching and I was beginning to think we'd never find one when Bruds, one of the rangers, radioed to say he had found a likely burrow. Mission accomplished!'

'Finding a resting bivouac of army ants is one thing – filming them is quite another. Probe cam was our only hope and I really wanted to see if I could find the queen buried deep inside the colony. Unfortunately the ants didn't take very long to find me and swarmed along the camera cable to sink their ice pick-like mandibles into my hands.'

Gordon Buchanan

Gordon Buchanan is a naturalist and cameraman, working on programmes such as Big Cat Diary. Whilst learning his trade, Gordon spent over two years in South America, travelling in the Amazonia regions of Venezuala and Brazil.

Gordon's best moments: 'There are wish lists of species you would like to see whereever you travel to. Some are so hard to find that it's almost not worth including on any list. So when we managed to film a jaguar and a harpy eagle within a week of each other I was simply astounded.'

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Justine Evans

Justine Evans is a camerawoman. She's worked on television series such as Planet Earth and The Life of Mammals.




Justine's best moments: 'Flying in to the base camp over hundreds of miles of untouched forest, a sight I had never witnessed before and also seeing my first giant anteater, a truly bizarre looking animal. You are struck with a real sense of hope in Guyana as there is a large, intact tropical paradise that can be saved. There are very few places left in the world that hold such a valuable resource.'

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Steve Backshall

Steve Backshall is a naturalist and climber. In 2006 he took part in Expedition Borneo. Steve is a rock climber and mountaineer and has a particular fascination with reptiles.



Steve's best moments: 'One memory will stay with me forever; waking up in a gently swinging canvas bed, opening up the tent and looking skywards to the hundreds of metres of ancient sandstone above. There was the promise of many days hard climbing ahead, and the certain fact that my fingers would be the first ever to touch those overhanging slabs of rock. Then I turned my face downwards, and looked hundreds of metres below my swinging portaledge bed to the ground... Hundreds of swifts swooped and chirped in the skies, hummingbirds hovered inches before our eyes uncertain as to what we were.

It was the most beautiful place I have ever been, and all the more beautiful, as we were the first humans ever to see it. Shortly after this, one of our team members stepped out of his portaledge to answer a call of nature, and flipped the ledge upside down. The guy he was sharing the ledge with was woken up hanging upside down in his sleeping bag, with endless empty air beneath him. No double espresso on earth could ever wake a man up so convincingly!'

Raquel Thomas

Raquel Thomas works for Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation and Development. She is a botanist and an expert on Guyana's flora.




Raquel's best moments: 'I think my most defining moment was climbing and sleeping in the huge Wadara Tree. Since I have some fear of heights this definitely took me out of my comfort zone and it was just simply awesome!'

Dan Huertas

Dan Huertas was a researcher on expedition Guyana. His job was to go to Guyana before the main team arrived to help set up the main camp and then to help the scientists and TV crew look for plants and animals. He had to try to cover as much of the forest as possible looking for tarantula holes and animal burrows, set up camera traps, map the location and find stories that the scientists could follow up on when they arrived.


Watch Dan's video diaries of expedition life

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 Lost Land of the Jaguar

Homepage

Meet the Team

Animal Gallery

Extra Clips

Dan's Diaries

Wild Sounds

Guyana's Forest Future

Expedition Discoveries

Filming in Guyana

 TV programmes – BBC One
BBC One logo

Programme 1
Wed 30 July, 8pm

Programme 2
Wed 6 Aug, 8pm

Programme 3
Wed 13 Aug, 8pm

BBC iPlayer Latest programme Watch now iPlayer Help

 Elsewhere on bbc.co.uk

BBC News
Guyana factfile

 Elsewhere on the web

Guyana Tourist Authority
About Guyana and its landscape

Conservation International
Conservation issues for Guyana's wild areas

Iwokrama International
Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development

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