Photo by @JennyGNichols // Pure joy is a leaf-tailed gecko on your face. These little guys are so rare you can only find them naturally in one part of the world - the rainforests of Madagascar. Because of this, the leaf-tailed gecko is incredibly vulnerable to deforestation and habitat destruction. Masters of camouflage who blend into the bark of trees, they are capable of shedding their tail to trick potential predators; a defense mechanism that, unfortunately, doesn’t always protect them from becoming victims of the pet trade.
#SDG14 is “Life Below Water” - a part of a family of Sustainable Development Goals designed with an ambitious and profound vision: to build a better world for people and our planet by 2030. There is a lot of work to be done, but the power of the ocean is in its ability to transform, and its strength is in #theTide. I have been fortunate in my lifetime to have explored all of our earth’s oceans and countless waterways; to have seen firsthand that life below water is beautiful and dynamic and complex. As an ambassador for the Global Survey and #SDG14, I want to make sure you know that there are only two more months left to participate in the #GlobalSurvey. How do you perceive sustainable development in your country? What do you want the world to look like in 2030? Every voice counts – take the survey and help to spread the word! Link in bio. . . . @globalsurvey17#ExtinctionEndsHere#underwaterphotography#biodiversityday#TurningTheTide#underthesea#globalsurveysdg #17throughoureyes
Photo by @MySparks // The setting sun transforms the lily pond at @FairchildGarden into a Monet painting through the brilliant lens of young @MySparks. Not only is this young woman a passionate earth citizen and a lovely human being (and I happen to know because she has been @MickMitty’s partner in life and adventure for 5 years now) but she is also a beautiful photographer. Follow her as she unleashes her creativity as the new social media communicator for @FairchildGarden, an institution dedicated to protecting, understanding and promoting the diversity of tropical plants. #monet
It was a lucky shot to fit an 80-foot long whale into a single frame. Sleek and long, surrounded by nothing but the dark waters of the open ocean, the blue whale resembles a rocket ship suspended in deep space. Blue whales are the largest animals to have ever existed, reaching mind-boggling dimensions of 100 feet long and upwards of 200 tons on a diet composed almost exclusively of krill, tiny-shrimp like crustaceans. Blue whales don't have any natural predators, but they were hunted to the edges of extinction by the hands of men in the 1800s and early 1900s. Today blue whales are endangered and, surprisingly, we are still having to fight to prevent some countries from hunting them again.
Young @IvanaCook has been volunteering for the @CoralGardeners in Moorea as a photographer. Many of the images you see on their beautifully-curated page were created by this young photographer. Ivana and I spent some time free diving to photograph the severe bleaching being experienced by Moorea's coral reef. She is now heading home and the @CoralGardeners will need a new volunteer photographer. Interested? DM @toutiess and find out how you can help fulfill their mission! The best way to find hope is through action. We all can do something today! #WeTheReef#TurningTheTide#extinctionendshere
The best way to find hope is by taking action. There are 1 million plant and animal species facing extinction right now. This week, I am going to share images with you of some of the endangered animals that I have been privileged to photograph and will offer ideas for things we all can do to help and to renew our own sense of hope. Threatened by climate change and pollution and destructive fishing practices, coral are fascinating marine invertebrates called 'polyps' that thrive primarily in large colonies. All over the world these colonies are dying, and coral reefs are in decline. In French Polynesia I met an incredible group of young people who inspired in me so much hope for the next generation of conservationists. In this photo, Titouan Bernicot (@toutiess) tends one of the coral gardens off the coast of Moorea. Titouan and the other @CoralGardeners work to restore the reef on the island that is also their home. You can support their work at the link in my bio, or go to coralgardeners.org to adopt a coral in the name of a loved one. If enough corals are adopted, they will be able to create a new coral reef on Moorea. Follow @CoralGardeners to learn more about their incredible work. #WeTheReef
Oceanic white tip sharks once ruled the seas. Now they’re nearly gone. Hunted for their fins and often hooked as bycatch by longline commercial vessels fishing for tuna, oceanic whitetip sharks are in steep decline. They have few offspring (two to three pups in a litter) and don’t reach sexual maturity until around seven years — traits that impede population recovery. Fins have no taste or nutritional value, but shark fin soup lovers relish the texture. Can you believe that at a Hong Kong seafood market, dried fins can fetch $265 a pound! What can you do? Give tuna a break and spare some sharks along the way. #ExtinctionEndsHere#endangeredspeciesday#conservation#themoreyouknow#takeaction with @sealegacy@moorecharitable@paulnicklen@andy_mann@trevor_bacon1
Endangered species day is a day for reflection and spreading awareness. I feel a great sense of urgency and I am immensely proud of my team at @SeaLegacy and of everyone #TurningTheTide with us to create healthy and abundant oceans - but we all need to do more. What can we do about the 1 million plant and animal species that are facing extinction? I believe that the biggest threat to our environment is the assumption that someone else is doing something about it, so let’s all step up whatever we are already doing. This means buying local, recycling, educating your neighbours and your children and your friends. Know that every time you make a healthy choice for our world, you're making a healthy choice for yourself too, and for critically endangered animals like this hawksbill sea turtle. As members of #theTide, I hope that you feel empowered to make a difference for the future of our earth everyday with the changes that you can make at home. You can find more information about threatened species around the world on the IUCN Red List (https://www.iucnredlist.org/), link in my bio. . . . #endangeredspeciesday#conservation#themoreyouknow#takeaction
When this photo was taken I had no idea the path my life would take; that one day I would live on the western coast of Canada instead of Mexico, where I was born and where I studied marine sciences at @tecdemonterrey . I did not know that I would become a mother and a stepmother, or that one day I would work to protect whales around the world, or that I would co-found one of the most influential non-profits in ocean conservation in the world. Here, I stand underneath the skeleton of a gray whale that hung in the marine lab at my university at the beginning of a career that has led me on many adventures, and which continues to fill me with awe and passion for the natural world. . . . #archive#throwbackthursday#tbt#blackandwhite#bw
Photo by @kirstenluce // Hands-on experiences with wild animals are thriving due in part to social media—but there is often a darker reality behind the scenes. In this photo by Kirsten Luce, an injured four-year-old tourist attraction elephant suffers with an injured leg underneath a performance stadium in Thailand. Learn more about the perils of captive Wildlife Tourism in the June issue of Nat Geo magazine. https://on.natgeo.com/2JlxNmi #NatGeoWildlifeTourism
I am in love with an ancient Polynesian concept I recently learned about. Throughout their history, Polynesian peoples from New Zealand to Hawaii to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) have relied on the sea to provide food and connect islands to each other, maintain family bonds, and help isolated communities share their cultures with the outside world. As they traveled across the Pacific, Polynesian peoples brought with them that deep relationship with the ocean, including the concept of the rāhui, a traditional practice of restricting access to an area or resource as a way of conserving it, like this magical area off the island of Huahine in French Polynesia. . . . #polynesia#conservation#coral#sustainability#culture#islandlife#rahui
Come join me and @PaulNicklen on the adventure of a lifetime… swimming with whale sharks! Not only will you become an expert in whale sharks and the ins and outs of ethical encounters with these animals, but you will also gain first-hand knowledge about the value of blue tourism to conservation efforts. Eco-tourism initiatives have changed the ways that people make their livelihoods around the world; transforming shark fishermen into ocean guardians and tour guides in Isla Mujeres, and boosting economies on a global scale as adventurers travel far and wide in the name of discovery and new experiences. However, as it gets easier to travel the world and eco-tourism becomes more accessible, it is important and necessary to implement regulations and best practices for the health and safety of animals, ecosystems, and humans. When you’re an eco-tourist, think of yourself as a guest in someone’s home. Because that’s what you are. For your chance to join Paul and me on this adventure (flights and hotel included!), support our work @Sealegacy and enter through the link in my bio or at omaze.com/oceans #onlyatomaze@omazeworld . . . #conservation#ocean#ecotourism#diving#adventure