Conservationist Mark Carwardine

Whether immersed in the ocean facing a whale or penetrating deep inhospitable thickets, conservationist Mark Carwardine finds surviving in the most challenging of the world's environments second nature.

Wherever he may be, zoologist, broadcaster and author Mark shares his passion for conservation with millions.

In 2009, BBC's Last Chance To See with Stephen Fry found Mark go in search of a number of species on the brink of extinction. Based on the book he wrote with the late Douglas Adams 20 years ago, those endangered species encountered during his travels included komodo dragons, blue whales, Amazonian manatees and the kakapo.

Stephen and television viewers alike were in awe of Mark's verve for climbing mountains, fording streams and penetrating steamy malaria-infested swamps for a single glimpse of an elusive beast.

Mark's passion for conservation has taken him across seven continents, enabling him to extend his acclaimed portfolio of wildlife, nature and environment photographs. He has been chairman of the judges for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition since 2005.

A prolific author, his 50 books include the award-winning Shark Watcher's Handbook and Eyewitness Handbooks: Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises, the best-selling cetacean field guide ever published with nearly a million in print.

Presenter of Nature on Radio 4 for many years, Mark continues to be an expert contributor to numerous wildlife and environmental programmes, including Countryfile and Inside Out.

Away from the media, Mark is a founding director of several wildlife travel companies and a wildlife illustration agency, and also runs whale-watching tours in Mexico and occasional specialist wildlife photography trips.

In 2010, Mark returned to our screens for BBC2's The Museum of Life.