Joel Sartore sta girando il mondo per fotografare 12mila specie di animali a rischio

Joel Sartore sta girando il mondo per fotografare 12mila specie di animali a rischio

Joel Sartore è un fotografo che lavora da 20 anni per il National Geographic. La passione per gli animali nasce dentro di lui quando ancora bambino apre un libro fotografico del TIME di proprietà della madre. È dedicato al piccione migratore. Tratta dell’ultimo esemplare di quella specie, molto diffusa in America del Nord, estinta all’inizio del Novecento.

Da quel giorno si appassiona agli esemplari fragili e grazie alle prime collaborazioni con il National Geographic comprende, direttamente sul campo, le condizioni in cui questi animali vivono.

Dopo la pubblicazione del suo libro RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species istituisce un’“arca di Noè fotografica”. Un archivio online di fotografie di animali in via di estinzione. Un’arca nata per sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica.

Gli animali in via di estinzione: qualche numero

Ogni giorno si estinguono decine di specie animali. Sulle 77340 valutate dall’Unione mondiale per la conservazione della natura, 22784 sono a rischio estinzione. A causa del cambiamento climatico una specie su sei, presto, non esisterà più.

For thousands of creatures living on Earth, time is running out. That’s why we’ve partnered with the Zoological Society of London’s EDGE of existence program to create a new conservation initiative. The Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships will support the work of conservationists working to turn the tide for lesser-known species at risk, like this Endangered antillean manatee, photographed at the @dallas_world_aquarium. There are less than 2,500 mature individuals known at present and the species is still likely to undergo important declines because of human activities and their consequences. Learn more about this species and the people working to save by clicking the link in my bio. #PhotoArk #SaveTogether

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Gli artisti possono fare molto per la causa. Come questo collettivo che ha disegnato sparsi per Manhattan più di 300 uccelli a rischio estinzione. O ad esempio scattando foto, come quelle di questo concorso che scuotono le nostre coscienze ambientali.

The Wyoming toad is widely considered extinct in the wild, though the cause of their swift decline in the 1960’s and 70’s is still unknown. The only existing populations are living in captivity and among a small group within the Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming which is maintained through introduction of captive-reared young. Sadly, this refuge is reportedly infected with the chytrid fungus, which is infamous for wiping out amphibian populations all over the world. The success of this extremely rare species is now completely dependent on the continuation of captive breeding programs. This Wyoming toad was photographed at @theomahazoo, where last year 900 tadpoles were produced and shipped to Wyoming to be released among the population currently residing in at Mortenson Lake. . . #wyomingtoad #toads #amphibians #extinctinthewild #rareanimals #omaha #nature #conservation #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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Il progetto di Sartore: “Photo Ark”

Le foto di Sartore “rappresentano una nuova occasione per sensibilizzare la gente sul tema della conservazione, e invitarla a pensare ad altro che non sia il prezzo della benzina o cosa passa in tv”. Così ha detto in un’intervista a Marco Pinna per National Geographic.

It’s clear that the eyes of a spectral tarsier are exceptionally large. In fact, they’re the largest, relative to body weight, of any mammal on Earth. Though their huge eyes help spectral tarsiers see at night, they are set in their skulls and immobile, much like an owl’s. Tarsiers compensate for their lack of eye mobility by being able to rotate their heads a full 180 degrees to check out their surroundings. This tiny primate weighs only as much as 20 pennies and can easily fit into the palm of a human hand. Spectral tarsier populations are in decline and the species is currently listed as Vulnerable on the #IUCN Red List. Their most significant threat by far is the degradation of their rainforest homes in Indonesia due to agriculture, illegal logging, and mining of limestone for cement manufacturing. To help save the tarsiers it is important to make sustainable purchasing choices and to continue supporting the conservation of rainforests. This spectral tarsier was photographed at Night Safari, part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (@WRS.ig). To see a video of this adorable primate, check out @natgeo. . . #spectraltarsier #NOTAPET #tarsier #nocturnalanimals #nocturnal #bigeyes #cute #adorable #cuteanimals #nature #conservation #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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È più o meno a metà strada. “Ho previsto un tempo di circa 25 anni, se sarò ancora vivo per completarlo. Per ora vi ho dedicato 12 anni della mia vita”. Sartore ha fotografato finora circa 7500 specie visitando quasi 300 zoo di tutto il mondo.

Because of their unusually blotchy markings and three stripes along their spine, king cheetahs like this one at @zoomiami were once believed to be a completely separate subspecies. However, it’s now known that these markings are simply the result of a genetic mutation. This rare variety of cheetah has only been spotted in the wild six times. Cheetahs are known for their incredible speed (60-70 mph/113 kph), but that’s not the only thing that makes them one of Africa’s most formidable hunters. Cheetahs have excellent eyesight and are born with the spotted fur necessary to blend in with the tall, golden grasses of the plains where they hunt. After silently stalking their prey, the cheetah will sprint after it and trip it before delivering a fatal bite to the neck. These chases last less than one minute and are successful about 50% of the time. Wild cheetahs are steadily inching closer to extinction as humans continue to destroy their natural habitats. . . #cheetah #bigcats #cheetahs #cats #naturalpattern #nature #conservation #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #nature #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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Dalle tigri della Malesia, al panda, dall’antilope reale al caracara di montagna, passando per il leone e gli elefanti africani. Il primo esemplare in assoluto è stato la talpa senza pelo in uno zoo del Nebraska.

Did you know that there are nine different subspecies of giraffes? This particular individual, photographed at the @gladysporterzoo, belongs to the reticulated giraffe subspecies which can be found in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. As you might have guessed, giraffes are the world’s tallest land mammals, reaching heights of 16-18 feet! They have extremely keen eyesight and can spot a moving human from up to a mile away. They’re also excellent runners, capable of reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour, about as fast as a horse. To give birth, females will often return to the same spot where they were born. Though they appear lanky and uncoordinated, giraffe calves are able to stand and even run just one hour after being born. These unique and beautiful animals are slowly inching closer to extinction every day due to habitat loss and illegal poaching for their hair, skin and meat. Currently, they are listed as Vulnerable on the #IUCN Red List. Conservation efforts are now being conducted throughout Africa in order to try and maintain existing populations. . . #giraffe #reticulatedgiraffe #nature #conservation #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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Sartore fotografa sempre nel pieno rispetto degli animali, aiutato da alcuni addetti delle riserve dei bioparchi. All’inizio non è stato facile, perché non poteva certo avvicinarsi come se niente fosse a questi animali in pericolo e spesso pericolosi. Servivano permessi e fiducia.

Golden-headed lion tamarins like this one photographed at the @dallas_world_aquarium are named for their striking, golden-orange manes around their faces. When threatened, these primates will fluff up their manes in order to make themselves appear larger and try to frighten their predators by flicking their tongues. They live in lowland forests of Brazil and are endangered due to severe destruction of their habitats. In the past 20 years, 50% of the golden-headed lion tamarin population has been eliminated, and if their habitat continues to be destroyed, we can’t expect to see them in the wild for much longer. Fight deforestation by living more sustainably. Vote with your dollar by making informed purchases of furniture, paper, and other rainforest-harvested items. To see another image of this tamarin, check out @natgeo. . . #primates #NOTAPET #tamarins #goldenheadedliontamarin #deforestation #sustainability #votewithyourdollar #NOTOPALMOIL #palmoil #brazil #monkeys #endangeredspecies #rare #nature #conservation #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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Nei giorni di ottobre e novembre Sartore ha visitato quattro Paesi per il suo progetto dell’Arca. Facendo tappa anche in Italia. Dopo il Portogallo e prima di raggiungere la Polonia e i Paesi Bassi. Per ogni Paese Sartore ha visitato almeno due bioparchi: da noi è stato a quello di Roma e al Natura Viva di Verona.

Bat stars like these photographed at @theomahazoo can be found resting on rocks, sand bottoms and among surf grass along the Pacific coast from Alaska all the way down to Mexico. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, all of which have five short, webbed arms that give them the appearance of bat wings. Though they may seem docile, when two of these sea stars cross paths, a slow-motion brawl will occur. They fight by gently pushing and placing their arms on top of the one another. If one of them is turned upside down, they use their tube feet to slowly, gracefully somersault back onto their ventral side. As a defense against predators, bat stars are capable of releasing a potent chemical which incites quick escape responses in other animals. . . #seastars #batstars #starfish #underwater #marinelife #sealife #seacreatures #nature #conservation #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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Al Bioparco di Roma

In questo zoo ha potuto ammirare il tahr, la vigogna, il cercocebo dal collare bianco, il macaco giapponese, il nandù, e altri.

Roan antelope are the second largest antelope species and males can weigh up to 300 kg (660 lbs). They are found in savanna woodlands and grasslands from south Sahara to Botswana, where they live in small herds that will fight aggressively when threatened. This species has been eliminated from large parts of its former range because of poaching and loss of habitat due to the expansion of human settlement and agriculture. This antelope was photographed at @ParcoNaturaViva in Italy. Big thank you to the @greenteenteam, an organization dedicated to getting young people involved with the release of wild animals in order to promote conservation. . . #roanantelope #antelope #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #nature #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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La bellezza delle sue fotografie sta soprattutto nel modo in cui scatta i ritratti. Riesce a rendere gli animali protagonisti indiscussi dei suoi scatti, davanti a uno sfondo bianco o nero, per far risaltare le caratteristiche della specie (fotografata nel dettaglio), e azzerando le differenze fisiche (“un topolino diventa imponente“).

White-fronted capuchins are highly social animals, usually found swinging from tree branches in groups of several dozen individuals. The alpha male often tolerates other males within their group, but can become quite aggressive toward outsiders. Since the alpha male is dominant, all other members of the group tend to keep a close eye on him and will take their behavioral cues from him as well. Whether he is calm, aggressive, playful or frightened, the other members will follow suit. Unfortunately, white-fronted capuchins are currently on the endangered species list. Their numbers have dropped by more than 50 percent in the past half century due to deforestation, the pet trade and persecution as pests. . . #capuchin #monkey #primates #cute #NOTAPET #whitefrontedcapuchin #stopthepettrade #conservation #endangeredspecies #rare #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #nature #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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“Bisogna guardarli negli occhi”, ha detto. “Se li guardi negli occhi ti rendi conto che sono intelligenti come noi se non di più. Noi ci riteniamo più intelligenti di loro, ma intanto ci facciamo la guerra e distruggiamo il nostro mondo… lo siamo davvero? Gli animali meritano tutto il nostro rispetto e tutta la nostra pietà; dobbiamo cercare di evitare di spingerli sull’orlo dell’estinzione.”

Barn owls like this one photographed at @penangbirdpark are the most widespread of any owl species, thriving in six continents and on many islands. This bird’s ghostly appearance, eerie call, and habit of roosting in places like church belfries and abandoned buildings has provoked a lot of negative superstition. However, since barn owls prey mainly on rats and mice, their presence has actually proven to be quite beneficial for some. Barn owls have very soft feathers, which help them fly silently while on the hunt. Their ears are lopsided on the sides of their heads, one higher than the other, which helps them to triangulate the sound made by prey, and detect its exact location, even in total darkness. . . #owl #barnowls #birds #owls #biodiversity #animalfacts #wildlife #nature #wildlifephotography #natgeo #savetogether #photoark

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Per seguire gli aggiornamenti fotografici della sua “Arca” ti consigliamo di seguire la sua pagina Instagram e il suo sito ufficiale. Segui i suoi canali, presto potrebbero uscire le date di una mostra romana dedicata al suo progetto. 

Immagine via Instagram