Joel Sartore- Photo Ark
Founder of the Photo Ark, a 25-year project to show the world the beauty of biodiversity in all its forms, and inspire action to save species.
On this #pollinatormonday
we are shining the spotlight on the rusty-spotted genet, which is perhaps the least-known pollinator. This cat-like carnivore is from Sub-Saharan Africa and is primarily a meat eater, but is also known to frequent nectar-laden flowers for a sweet treat after a big meal. Due to its large home range, the genet can transport pollen on its fur to other nectar-bearing plants of the same species. Researchers don't think it frequents flowers as often as other pollinators, but its ability to move pollen around makes it valuable in fertilizing plant species over great distances. In other words, the rusty-spotted genet helps save the forest!
To see another image of this genet, check out @natgeo
Photo taken @millerparkzoo
in Bloomington, Illinois.
#pollinators #SaveTogether #cuteanimals #cute #wildlife #wildlifephotography #natgeo #photoark
Due to its bizarre appearance and unique adaptations, the aye-aye of Madagascar is often considered one of the strangest primates in the world. Physically, the aye-aye stands out because of its incisors (front teeth) that are continually growing, its extremely large ears, and its elongated middle finger which is almost skeletal in appearance. This specialized middle finger is used by the aye-aye to locate insect larvae by tapping on trees to determine whether there’s a hollow spot with a grub inside to eat, and then they spear the insect larvae with this digit to pull it out. Behaviorally, aye-ayes fall into a small category of primates that lead solitary lives, only engaging in social behaviors during courtship and child-rearing.
Like other lemur species on the island of Madagascar, the main threat to their survival is loss of habitat due to deforestation. However, aye-ayes also face threats from locals as traditional beliefs have led many local people to falsely believe that, because of their bizarre appearance, the aye-aye is an evil omen which must be killed on sight to avoid bringing bad luck to an entire village.
Captive breeding programs have been established to help protect the genetic-diversity of this declining species - worldwide the population of aye-ayes in human care stands at about 50 individuals.
Photo taken @dukelemurcenter.
#ayeaye #photoark #natgeo #SaveTogether
An endangered Antillean manatee @dallas_world_aquarium
in Dallas, Texas.
While manatees have no natural predators, they have seen declines in their numbers due to human activities. In Florida, this species was historically hunted by Native Americans and later by European inhabitants. In other range countries, the Antillean manatee was previously exploited commercially, and in some areas illegal poaching continues to pose a threat. Manatee conservation efforts can be traced back to the eighteenth century, when the English established parts of what is now the state of Florida as marine sanctuaries for the species. In 1893 a state law was established to protect the manatee, and in the 1970’s they gained additional protection from the U.S. Marine Mammal Act, the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act.
Today, manatees face major threats from collisions with motorboats, becoming entangled in fishing nets, and the loss of vegetated sea beds due to agricultural and industrial runoff. With a low reproductive rate and an average gestation period (time in the womb) of 12 months, it becomes quite difficult for this species to see quick rebounds in its population numbers when hit with heavy losses.
#savetogether #manatee #sealife #marinelife #nature #wildlifephotography #wildlife #endangeredspecies #endangered #photoark #natgeo
A female giant Pacific octopus @alaskasealifecenter
in Seward, Alaska.
Weighing an average of 50 pounds with an arm span reaching 12 feet or more, this is currently the largest known species of octopus. Like many others of its kind, it has the ability to change the color and texture of its skin to help blend into its environment and to communicate warnings to other octopuses. Their soft, shell-less bodies allow them to squeeze into small crevices where they can lay eggs and hide from predators. The octopus is a highly intelligent creature. Many have excelled at learning how to unscrew lids on jars with treats inside, and in captivity have even been known to sneak out of their tanks to hunt fish in other aquariums!
#octopus #sealife #underwater #marinelife #camoflauge #wildlife #wildlifephotography #nature #photoark #natgeo
at UF this week! Pictured is a nymph of a southern green stink bug at the University of Florida in Gainesville. This stink bug uses piercing and sucking parts in its mouth to eat entire plants, but they prefer to snack on developing fruits and shoots. They have a life cycle of 65-70 days beginning with five developmental stages, each lasting 7 days. This particular individual is in its fifth developmental stage as a nymph and will soon turn completely green as a fully mature adult.
The UF/IFAS focuses on research and education in order to learn more about arthropods and how they fit into Earth’s complex ecosystems.
#UFbugweek #UFBugs #savetogether #stinkbug #insects #nymph #bugs #photoark #natgeo
! Pictured here is a lesser short-nosed fruit bat from the @lubeebatconservancy
in Gainesville, Florida.
This bat feeds on the nectar of fruit flowers. While gathering the nectar with its long tongue, pollen becomes stuck to its fur, and is carried to the anthers (the part of the plant where pollen is made) of the next flower on the menu, allowing the fruit to reproduce. More than 300 species of fruit rely on bats for pollination, including bananas, mango, guava, and cocoa. The economies of many countries are dependent on the exports of these fruits, and would cease to flourish without these graceful pollinators. To see another image of this bat check out @natgeo.
#pollinatormonday #natgeo #photoark #savetogether #knowyourpollinators
Sometimes it's not pretty to view the results of human industrial activity, but since we just crossed the seven-year-anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we wanted to look back at one very special (and lucky) pelican. This bird got caught up in the spill and brought into the Fort Jackson Bird Rehabilitation Center in Buras, Louisiana. He was successfully de-oiled and eventually released back into the wild where he could fly free again. The expert care the bird received was thanks to the team from the Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research and the International Bird Rescue, who have specialized in oiled marine animals for 45 years. Believe it or not, their 'secret' weapon is actually Dawn dishwashing detergent, which has been used by wildlife rescue experts for more than 40 years to clean everything from shore birds to sea otters because it's great at getting rid of grease while being gentle on animals’ delicate skin and feathers.
In honor of Endangered Species Day, the Photo Ark is “taking over” digital billboards in major cities across the U.S. The Photo Ark images are being displayed on the digital billboards in downtown New York City, urging people to look into the eyes of the many species that we can all be working to #SaveTogether
. And soon, More than 45,000 locations will show these animals around the U.S., so keep your eyes peeled! Thanks to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America for making this happen! To learn more about this campaign, check out today’s article @usatoday
Join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #SaveTogether
#natgeo #oaaa #photoark #NYC
Today, on endangered species day, we celebrate the many successes we have seen in saving wildlife, while also taking time to acknowledge those species that still teeter on the edge of extinction. The Photo Ark is dedicated to telling the stories of all creatures, big and small, and bringing us face-to-face with what we stand to lose. But there is hope. The species featured here are all at risk of suffering losses that will push them past the point of no return, but tireless conservation efforts are helping some of these animals to see steady increases in their numbers. While these programs are highly valuable in restoring species, this work will not stand the test of time unless we all make the choice to take-action in order to ensure their survival. And don’t forget; when we save other species, we’re actually saving ourselves. This is because a healthy planet is vital for humans as well. So what can you do? Use reusable grocery bags, support your local zoos and wildlife conservancies, avoid purchasing products made with unsustainable palm oil, say no to single-use items, do not use chemicals of any kind on your yard, and plant local plants that support pollinators. This is only a small snapshot of the actions we can all take to make a difference. Long after I am dead, these pictures will continue to go to work everyday to save species. There’s no more important mission for me. Now, how about you?
Music by @xambassadors
#savetogether #photoark #natgeo #endangeredspeciesday #savingwildlife #xambassadors #takeaction