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Thread: The Biodiversity Project : Joel Sartore

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    Lightbulb The Biodiversity Project : Joel Sartore

    For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Half of the world’s plant and animal species will soon be threatened with extinction. The goal of the Biodiversity Project is simple: to show what’s at stake, and to get people to care, while there’s still time to save them. More than 1,800 species have been photographed to date, with more to come.
    It started simply enough with endangered amphibians. I read an essay on amphibian decline and knew I needed to do something to show these species to the world before they were gone forever.


    How to Help

    Some support for the project is being provided by National Geographic. The zoos and rescue facilities I’ve worked at have all been incredibly generous with their time. One of the most important sources for funding, though, is individuals just like you.

    If you like this work and want to see more of it, please consider purchasing a print from the Project.

    When you find a picture you like, there’s a “Buy This Print” button just to the right. Click on that to start.

    In the world of fine art photography, our prints are ridiculously cheap – 8 x 10s are $40 – and we do that because I want people to see these images and talk about the species they show. A print above the right kitchen table can have just as much of an impact as one in a gallery. You’ll get a signed archival print, and the proceeds will fund additional shoots. National Geographic has supplied some of the funding, but it only goes so far.

    On a typical shoot, I go through half a roll of background paper and a few yards of black velvet. The sale of one 8×10 print covers the paper, and an 11 x 17 will supply me with velvet. It’s not a lot, but multiply that by 50 shoots or a hundred and it really adds up. We reuse what we can, but once a hippopotamus or chimp has had its way with background material, there’s not much else to be done with it.

    Another way you can support the Biodiversity Project is by visiting and patronizing your local zoo. Zoos and aquariums are vitally important to conservation today. Not only do they fund and manage captive breeding programs, but they are increasingly involved in conservation of habitat in the wild. Find an accredited zoo or aquarium in your area here.

    Last but not least, learn more about your favorite animal. A simple web search will likely lead you to the organizations working on its conservation. Support them. And share what you know with your friends and family. The more people who are informed and who care, the better.


    Why Studio Portraits?

    Well, first, some of the species in the project simply can’t be found in the wild any more. Another reason for this portrait style is that it gives equal weight to creatures big and small. Some of the frogs I’ve photographed are the size of a thumbnail, and this is a way for me to put them on equal footing with bigger animals like lions.

    Which Species Do You Photograph?

    Though I started with amphibians, as I went from place to place, I’d hear about other species in trouble — primates, reptiles, migratory birds, and more. So now, I photograph anything that will hold still on a background long enough for me to take a picture.
    Last edited by imperium; 09-06-2012 at 08:13 PM.
    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    Ruwenzori long-haired fruit bat (Rousettus lanosus) at the Lincoln Children's Zoo.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    A pair of blue poison dart frogs (Dendrobates azureus) at Reptile Gardens.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    A Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) named Lucy at the Lowry Park Zoo.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    A female African elephant (Loxodonta africana) at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    A giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) at Zoo Atlanta. This endangered species is native to China

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    Sulawesi macaques (Macaca nigra) at the Omaha Zoo.

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    Matschie's tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei) at the Lincoln Children's Zoo

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    An endangered Grevy's zebra (Equus grevyi) at the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) at the Houston Zoo. The wild population of the clouded leopard is decreasing with less than 10,000 in the wild.

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    A flock of Caribbean flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber) at the Lincoln Children's Zoo.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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    Harapan, a four-year-old male Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), at White Oak Conservation Center. There are just three Sumatran rhinos remaining in U.S. zoos.

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    A federally endangered light-footed clapper rail (Rallus longirostris levipes).

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    Budgett's frog (Lepidobatrachus laevis) at the Baltimore Aquarium.

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    A three-month-old baby chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) named Ruben at Lowry Park Zoo.

    A man may show as reckless a courage in entering into the abyss of himself.

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