The Photo Ark—One man’s mission to memorialize animals before they’re gone


I can’t wait to get this book


Joel Sartore and National Geographic aim to motivate you to appreciate the beauty of animals who may not be around much longer. They also hope the photos will inspire you to act to preserve them. His  philosophy is “You cannot save what you do not love.’  In fact, his photography has inspired governments and institutions to take action to save species in their countries.  NBC Nightly News refers to him as a modern day Noah.

If you subscribe to National Geographic, you  will recognize Joel’s photos from their stunning covers. PBS has aired a fascinating film documentary of Mr. Sartore’s  exhaustive efforts to get the perfect studio photos of rare living creatures—his first 5,000. His goal is to capture all endangered species available in zoos and wildlife protection preserves. (BTW, you can view free recent back shows free from PBS and any from its history for $5/month or if you are a donor for $60 or more per year.)

In each PBS episode Joel makes the same sage comment. How can we think that it’s OK for these animals to go extinct without having an effect on humans?

He uses a white or black background and  lighting that captures whiskers and fine detail. You feel you face to face with a fellow Earth dweller.  Many I’ve never seen:colorful birds and large weird insects. The red fan parrot reminds me of the headdress of a Sioux Indian chief. Even more familiar animals such as lions, leopards, rhinos and gorillas belong to a subspecies under threat of extinction.

Check out Joel’s website for a charming picture of him facing a penguin. I ordered his book of photos, which is out of stock. It will be a Christmas gift so should arrive in plenty of time. Prints of his photos are also available.

Not only is Joel’s work inspiring, the people who assist him from zoos or wildlife preservation organizations are amazing. One woman spent an entire day rescuing a kumi kiwi egg from predators. Once the baby hatches and is old enough to stand a chance, it is released back into its habitat.

Thanks to National Geographic for their support of this project and their permission to use the photos.

See below to support Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark

.PS The book arrived and is amazing. It’s a bargain at $35.