Science News: Preserving images of endangered species

– G.A., Senior Editor

Beginning in 2005, a National Geographic photographer began a project that aimed to preserve earth’s biodiversity in images. Joel Sartore founded the Photo Ark project with the aim of documenting animal species before they disappear.

Sartore’s efforts have taken him to 40 countries and have resulted in the successful photographing of over 8000 species. Specifically, Sartore has taken intimate portraits of these species in an effort to ensure that the true character of each species is captured regardless of its size.

With a stated goal of photographing the approximately 12,000 species that can be found in captivity in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries around the world, the true purpose of this project is to raise awareness of the threat to all living species on our planet. The Photo Ark project is raising money through donations and the sales of books and photo prints to fund conservation projects that can hopefully save some of the most at-risk species.

As Earth’s biodiversity continues to face tremendous pressure and the rate of extinctions grows, more and more people are focusing on preserving our most threatened species. If our efforts to save species fail, the Photo Ark may end up being one of the few ways we can experience a species that has been lost forever.

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