One of my favorite’s This Ostrich was photographed a few months back. The flightless ostrich is the world's largest bird. They roam African savanna and desert lands and get most of their water from the plants they eat. As human populations grow, they expand into areas where wildlife once roamed freely. The construction of settlements and roads and agricultural cultivation all contribute to habitat loss. And #Habitatloss puts pressure on other species. I know that people will say, that they are not in danger of extension, but the loss of the ostrich in the wild will effect the balance that nature has created, affect animals that depend on the #Ostrich for survival. Ostriches are in the same order as #cassowaries, #emus, #kiwis, and #rheas.
Up to 1 million of the estimated 8 million plant and animal species on Earth are at risk of extinction — many of them within decades — according to scientists and researchers who produced a sweeping U.N. report on how humanity's burgeoning growth is putting the world's biodiversity at perilous risk. Some of the report's findings might not seem new to those who have followed stories of how humans have affected the environment, from shifts in seasons to the prevalence of plastics and other contaminants in water. But its authors say the assessment is the most accurate and comprehensive review yet of the damage people are inflicting on the planet. And they warn that nature is declining at "unprecedented" rates and that the changes will put people at risk. "Protecting biodiversity amounts to protecting humanity," UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said at a news conference about the findings Monday morning. The report depicts "an ominous picture," says Sir Robert Watson, chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services compiled the assessment. "Insect pollinators are unfortunately an excellent example of the problems caused by human activities," Scott McArt, an entomology professor at Cornell University, says in a statement about the report. "There's actually a newly coined phrase for insect declines — the 'windshield effect' — owing to the fact that if you drove your car at dusk 30 years ago, you would need to clean the windshield frequently, but that's no longer the case today," McArt says. In its tally of humanity's toll on the Earth, the assessment says "approximately 60 billion tons of renewable and nonrenewable resources are now extracted globally every year," adding that the figure has nearly doubled since 1980. Here's a short selection of some of the report's notable findings: 75% of land environment and some 66% of the marine environment "have been significantly altered by human actions." "More than a third of the world's land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources" are used for crops or livestock Photo #1 critical endangered Sumatriptan Rhino #2 Orchid #3 Bog in Denmark #4 leaf insect. (WordsbyNPR)
The ongoing measles outbreak in communities in Brooklyn affecting Williamsburg and Borough Park reminds me of the spread of the disease, Multidrug-resistant TB, which I photographed for @NatGeo as part of a story on Evolutionary biology. The #Measles cases have also been identified in Midwood/Marine Park and Bensonhurst. Most of the cases have occurred in #Williamsburg and Borough Park. Students attending a child care program serving the Orthodox community, or pre-K program or grades K-12 in a yeshiva who do not have the required number of doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine must be excluded from school effective immediately including those who are not in compliance with daycare and school MMR vaccine requirements and those with a medical or religious exemption. This exclusion applies to child cares serving the Orthodox Jewish community and yeshivas in the following zip codes: 11204, 11206, 11205, 11211, 11218, 11219. To deny science and medical experts and to refuse treatment puts my family and friends and the greater population in 11249 zip in danger. The above picture is from a Russian Prison which is one of the "hot-spots" of drug-resistant tuberculosis. Infectious disease researchers Nachega & Chaisson report that 10% of the one million prisoners within the system have active TB. In 1997, TB accounted for almost half of all Russian prison deaths, and as Bobrik et al. point out in their public health study, the 90% reduction in TB incidence contributed to a consequential fall in the prisoner death rate in the years following 1997. Baussano et al. articulate that concerning statistics like these are especially worrisome because spikes in TB incidence in prisons are linked to corresponding outbreaks in surrounding communities. Additionally, rising rates of incarceration, especially in Central Asian and Eastern European countries like Russia, have been correlated with higher #TB rates in civilian populations. #Herdimmunity is a form of #immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity. The point is please get your shots!
A look back dearly 200 years ago for #EarthDay, wondering how many of these plants are gone from the planet. I was on assignment for @NatGeo photograph to photograph a hidden gen. @jennafite for the @NatGeo asked if I could make a short trip to Cornell University. I could not come close to saying it better so the words are by NatGeo’s #CzerneReid. Decades of searching uncovered the brilliantly illustrated plants and detailed notes made by a U.S. woman living in Cuba in the 1800s. Lost for 190 years, a three-volume manuscript blooming with vivid color drawings of Cuban flora has resurfaced in upstate New York.
Nondescript marbled cardboard covers and a title page in cursive handwriting announce Specimens of the Plants & Fruits of the Island of Cuba by Mrs. A.K. Wollstonecraft. This simplicity belies the contents of the slim, well-worn volumes. Pages and pages contain 121 illustrated plates showing plants such as red cordia sebestena, deep purple Lagerstroemia, and white angel’s trumpet in consummate detail. “A jewel of botanical literature in Cuba,” is how Cuban botanist Miguel Esquivel describes the work, classifying it among the greatest discoveries of its kind in recent times. (Also find out how historians rediscovered an alchemy manuscript by Isaac Newton.) “I think the manuscript by Anne Wollstonecraft is of great importance,” says ethnobotanist Paul Cox, executive director of Brain Chemistry Labs in Jackson, Wyoming. “Although the plants that she profiles in her drawings and descriptions are generally common, the detailed notes she makes of indigenous uses add a whole new dimension to understanding their possible utility, and could be used today to guide researchers in discovering new pharmaceuticals.”
I wanted to pass along an interview that I recently did with Wesley Verhoeve, for his blog "The Observers". We talked about books that I love and the direction of my career. Read if you like (link in my bio)and take a look at all the other photographers that he has interviewed including Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Kathy Ryan, Joel Meyerowitz and many more, with the likes of Mark Seliger, Gregory Crewdson to come.