VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
iLCP Fellow Krista Schlyer captures the beauty of the California desert and the impact that energy development is having on the region. If there is a poster-child for the potential and already realized devastation energy development could bring to the wild desert, the tortoise is it. These hardy, desert-adapted creatures have suffered a 40-year decline due to human development of various sorts. They have lost 90 percent of their population despite being a protected species for most of that time.
This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by Amy Gulick, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers. Fifty years ago, The Beatles made their debut…
Earlier this year iLCP Fellow Clay Bolt embarked on an adventure to meet, document and ultimately tell the stories of as many of North America’s approximately 4,000 species of native bees as possible. In this article he shares their beauty, the challenges they face and shares what he has learned along the way to help us all learn more about what we can do to protect these precious insects.
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation conducts scientific surveys on coral reefs around the world to determine the health and resilience of the reef. The primary scientific goals of the Expeditions are to map and characterize coral reef ecosystems, identify their current status and major threats, and examine factors that enhance their ability to resist, survive and recover from major disturbance events like bleaching, cyclone damage, or Crown of Thorns outbreaks. iLCP Fellow Jürgen Freund documents an expedition to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem on the planet composed of almost 3000 individual reefs. For decades, the Great Barrier Reef has enjoyed World Heritage Status and been synonymous with diving, tourism and with Australia. But the reef is under threat of industrial development projects. Text and Photos by James Morgan.
For two weeks, iLCP Fellow Jürgen Freund joined the Living Oceans Foundation’s Great Barrier Reef mission to photographically document the Great Barrier Reef and the science that happened on board and underwater. Text and photos by Jürgen Freund.
The broad flat valley bottom of Peace River in B.C. is home to farms and ranches all along its sunlit northern border. In the middle of the river and along its southern shore are a profusion of low lying islands, wetlands, riparian zones and boreal forest and it is clearly evident why this rich valley is one of the most important wildlife corridors along the entire Yellowstone to Yukon migration route. The the region is under threat of a 60 meter high proposed Dam that would create a massive 83 kilometer long reservoir extending back to Hudson’s Hope, flooding the landscape and turning it into a giant reservoir. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz.
Home to over three quarters of the world’s coral species, The Coral Triangle is the underwater equivalent of the Amazon. It encompasses an area half the size of the United States and harbours more marine species than anywhere else on the planet. From Borneo down to the edge of the South Pacific, the Coral Triangle has some of the most breathtaking underwater landscapes, but the majority are buckling under the pressures of overfishing, resource extraction and climate change. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow James Morgan.
Indonesia announced the creation of the world’s largest manta sanctuary in February 2014. It encompasses a massive 6 million square kilometers of ocean, affording full protection for Oceanic and Reef Manta Rays. This was a bold move, especially considering that Indonesia historically has been the world’s largest fisher of manta rays and sharks. But this new declaration raises an obvious question – how will Indonesia make such a regulation effective? Text and photos by iLCP Fellow Shawn Heinrichs.
iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz spends two weeks exploring the proposed Energy East tar sands pipeline. Significantly larger than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Pipeline could transport over a million barrels a day of tar sands bitumen, cut with toxic natural gas condensate, from the Alberta tar sands to the proposed tanker port in Cacouna, Quebec and on to Saint John, New Brunswick. Text and Photos by iLCP Fellow Garth Lenz.
When President Lyndon Johnson signed The Wilderness Act into law September 3, 1964, he stated: “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” Text and Photography by iLCP Fellow Krista Schlyer.
iLCP Fellow and Founder Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, writes about her work with iLCP Fellow photographer Paul Nickels, doing a story on the Florida manatee. The Three Sisters Springs is one of the last remaining strongholds for this precious mammal. The warm waters that seep out of the ground year round are critically important to manatees during the cold winter months, when the water temperature drops below 68 degrees. In 2013 a record 829 manatee deaths were attributed to cold shock, underscoring the importance of these last few springs to this endangered mammal’s survival.
iLCP Fellow Paul Hilton went on patrol with Leuser Conservation Forum Rangers and Aceh forestry staff trekking 60 to 70 kilometers into the Soraya district of the Leuser Ecosystem, Sumatra, Indonesia. In the 5 days that he was with them he helped the FKL rangers destroy 12 snares, as well as caught up with poachers, carrying ropes and cables to set more snares. The rangers work hard to convince the poachers there are better alternatives to committing these crimes and they report them to local authorities, but without more funding to really revolutionize law enforcement here, the poaching crisis is only going to get worse.
Dave Showalter, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) photographs Absaroka-Beartooth Front wildlife, including the great bear, the preeminent symbol of Yellowstone’s wildness and a remarkable conservation success story. Its numbers in Greater Yellowstone have risen from fewer than 200 in the early 1980s to more than 740 today. With grizzlies appearing in places they haven’t been seen in generations, the emphasis on protections is shifting, to ensuring that wild places like the Francs Peak –Wood River region remain a safe haven where conflicts with humans are rare. Text By Jeff Welsch.