Magazine article International Wildlife

FRAIL EDENS - in Journeys to the Far Corners of the Earth, a Nature Photographer Documents the Wildlife in Rich but Troubled Places

Magazine article International Wildlife

FRAIL EDENS - in Journeys to the Far Corners of the Earth, a Nature Photographer Documents the Wildlife in Rich but Troubled Places

Article excerpt

TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO, as an amateur photographer lured by adventure, I accepted a job as mailman for the U.S. research base in Antarctica. One day near the end of my four-month stay, I came face-to-face with a group of emperor penguins on the sea ice. The pictures I took of them sparked a career in wildlife photography.

Since then, I've traveled to all seven continents and into the lives of many different kinds of animals. Wherever I go, I am awed by the diversity of our fellow creatures and their staggering variety of color, design, adaption and behavior.

But I am also deeply troubled. The species I have come to photograph- large and small, two legs or eight-are rapidly disappearing, largely due to the impacts of an increasing human population on their environments. As a result, I have spent much of the last few years documenting hard-hit ecosystems in an effort to help protect them.

Photographs are among the most potent tools available to conservation. They educate and inspire, revealing what has been lost-and what is worth saving. The pictures here are a sampling from four threatened corners of the globe I have been fortunate enough to visit.

MADAGASCAR

A Strange, Unworldly Ark

Set adrift in the Indian Ocean, the island of Madagascar off Africa's east coast evolved in splendid isolation for 165 million years. Life has taken many unexpected turns here, resulting in otherworldly trees, such as the characteristic baobob (center). I have photographed most of the island's array of primates, including the brown lemur (above), as well as smaller forest dwellers, such as the carpet chameleon (right) and this walking stick species (far right). They are enchanting but also vulnerable: More than 90 percent of the forest land that sustains them has vanished.

THE SUBANTARCTIC

Outposts in a Chilly Sea

Pummeled by constant winds that lash Earth's southern oceans, the remote islands of the subantarctic are wildlife treasuries: home to most of the world's albatrosses, along with huge numbers of seals and sea lions, including the southern elephant seal (inset). These places also harbor untold millions of penguins, which thrive in the frigid latitudes north of Antarctica. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.