Let's kick off our Black Friday sale a little bit early this year with 40% off prints! Our professionally printed, archival prints are the PURfect gift for any animal lover in your life. All prints 16x24 and larger are signed by me, Joel Sartore. Use code printholiday at checkout to receive your discount. Code does not apply to canvas or framed prints. Go to the link in my bio so see images available as prints.
Thank you for supporting the Photo Ark so we can continue to inspire the world to save species and their habitats!
Happy Thanksgiving from this gorgeous male ocellated turkey! These turkeys are clearly much more colorful than others of their kind, boasting a bright blue face and iridescent feathers. Though males are slightly brighter than females, both sexes are stunningly colored with distinctive eyespots on the end of their tailfeathers. These birds are found in the Yucatán Peninsula and have a very generalist diet, feeding on anything from plant matter to insects. Their chicks are highly energetic and feed mainly on insects for the first month of life.
These turkeys are currently listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List due to over-hunting, especially during breeding season since they prefer open areas for their courtship displays, making them easy targets. Sadly, when females are killed at this time, the survival rate of their chicks drops drastically, hindering the continuation of the species even further.
Photographed at @dallas_world_aquarium.
Our Black Friday sale goes live in just one day! Don’t forget to flaminGO to our social media platforms to find the code tomorrow. When you gift something special from the Photo Ark store you are supporting this project, which wouldn’t exist without you! #SaveTogether#PhotoArk#countdowntoblackfriday
When you have babies as cute as these mallard ducklings, you definitely don’t want them to lose their way. Luckily, imprinting on their mother gives these little guys a boost when it comes to survival. When a duckling imprints on it’s mother they never want her to be out of their sight and will call out to her the moment she leaves their field of vision. Not only does imprinting help keep baby ducks in a row, but it also helps them learn survival behaviors by watching everything that mom does.
Immediately upon hatching, ducklings are able to follow their mother to the nearest source of water to feed. Though they are lined with down already, their feathers are not yet waterproof, so they depend on their mother for both waterproofing and warmth. After 50-60 days, ducklings become fully mature and ready to fly off on their own.
These ducklings were photographed at @wildlife_rescue_team_inc in Nebraska.
HOO’s excited for the holidays?! We’ve got a Black Friday deal coming up next week so keep an eye out for a great opportunity to gift something special while also supporting the Photo Ark project.
With your help we can continue to inspire the world to #SaveTogether.
Edging closer to extinction, this Yaqui catfish, Ictalurus pricei, recently passed away at the Arizona-Sonora @DesertMuseum. It was the only known captive specimen. Just four individuals remain in the wild in the United States.
The only native catfish known to the Pacific slope in North America, the Yaqui's demise has been due to hybridization, dewatering by industrialization and/or drought.
But there is hope.
Biologists are hoping to develop a captive breeding program using fish collected from the small remaining populations in Mexico. But the simplest part of this will be collecting the fish from the wild. Eventually, a hatchery will be necessary that's dedicated to hold and produce the fish, and a recovery plan will need to be developed. To date, no funding has been obtained.
Ashy-faced owls like this one photographed at Parque Zoologico Nacional in Santo Domingo are found only in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and The United States Minor Outlying Islands. They nest in tree cavities, rocks and inside buildings and do not migrate. These incredible birds have a disc-shaped face that helps capture the sound of prey, making them impressive hunters. The calls of ashy-faced owls include rapid clicks, wheezing and a shrill scream.
Though they are currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, they do face heavy competition for food and nesting sites with their much stronger cousin, the American barn owl.
While almost all wild lions live in Africa, a small population of Asiatic lions can be found in India’s Gir Forest where they are heavily protected by people in the surrounding areas. Those who live around this forest not only view these lions as an endangered species, but they also consider them spiritually significant, especially as a religious icon in Hinduism. Because of the steadfast protection these lions are granted, their numbers have actually been steadily increasing over the years. In fact, in August of 2017 the Asiatic lion population was reported to be 650 individuals strong, a remarkable achievement in such a densely-populated country.
Asiatic lions are slightly smaller than African lions and live in forests as opposed to grasslands. They have slightly rougher manes and a characteristic skin fold on their stomachs. These big cats live in prides where the females are almost all related-- female cubs will usually stay with the group for their entire lives. The females do the heavy lifting when it comes to hunting while the males, typically three or so, defend the territory from any rival lions. Male cubs often leave the pride to establish their own group as they become mature.
Luzon hornbills are native to the forests of Luzon and other islands in the Northern Philippines. They live sedentary lives in groups of up to 15 birds and can be quite territorial, defending their turf from other birds in order to continue feeding on the insects and fruit there. Most species of hornbills form monogamous pairs. The female will lay her eggs in a natural tree cavity and then she and the male will seal her in by building a wall of dung and mud across the opening, leaving a hole just large enough for her male counterpart to deliver her food. This is a great way to avoid predators during incubation and early chick rearing.
Patagonian cavies like this one at the @houstonzoo are native to Argentina, including large parts of Patagonia. These adorable rodents form monogamous pairs, but the male holds the responsibility of maintaining the relationship by constantly following the female around. These pairs often mate within systems of underground burrows shared by two dozen other pairs or more. When their young are born, one pair will visit the den at a time in order to nurse their baby while the others circle around the den, patrolling for predators. This kind of communal living greatly increases the survival rate for young cavies.
Patagonian cavies are listed as Near Threatened on the #IUCN Red List, mainly due to habitat destruction for agriculture, as well as hunting for their skins.
This leucistic red squirrel was found lying on the ground and was taken to the Wildlife Rehab Center of Minnesota (@WRCMN) for care. The squirrel was diagnosed and treated for pneumonia, an illness that often kills very young animals such as this one. As you can see, he’s now up and at it, behaving just as a squirrel should-- very active and feisty. Once the squirrel became healthy enough, he was moved to the Mammal Nursery where he was able to bond with other baby squirrels. Placing animals with others of their species often results in better rehabilitation, reduced stress and helps to avoid human bonding.
Since fall temperatures can drop below freezing, squirrels that are released this time of year go to their new “homes”: nest boxes in volunteers’ yards. The volunteers mount these boxes in trees and scatter a small amount of food throughout the yard for the first couple weeks in order to give the squirrels a bit of a boost this time of year. This particular squirrel was released just a couple weeks ago and now lives free in the wild.
The Wildlife Rehab Center of Minnesota (@WRCMN) is one of the oldest and largest wildlife rehab centers in the nation. They continue to function solely through donations, the generosity of volunteers, and the goodwill of the residents of Minnesota.
To see a video of this squirrel check out @natgeo.
The name jaguar comes from the Native American word yaguar which means ‘he who kills with one leap’. Though it may sometimes take more than one leap, jaguars are undeniably formidable hunters. Pound for pound, the jaguar’s jaw is the strongest of any feline relative to its body weight. In order to kill their target, jaguars deliver a swift bite to the back of the head near where the spinal cord meets the brain, rendering their prey incapacitated. They aren’t picky eaters and will hunt anything from fish and birds to porcupines and anacondas. Unlike many big cats, jaguars absolutely love the water. They often make their homes near bodies of water and can be seen bathing, playing and hunting in streams and pools. Jaguars range all the way from South America up through Central america and parts of Mexico. And as of last year, two jaguars have even been spotted in the Desert Southwest of the United States. These majestic felines once roamed all throughout the Western United States, but like many species before them, they were hunted and wiped out once humans began to move into their territory. Currently, jaguars are listed as near threatened on the #IUCN Red List. The largest contributors to their decline is deforestation in Latin America as well as execution as pests by ranchers. This ten-year-old female named Pintada, which means ‘spots’, was photographed at the @Dallas_World_Aquarium.
Though slightly less colorful than other chameleon species, four-horned chameleons are no less intriguing. The four horns at the front of their faces are used to defend their territory. When battling for a tree branch, males will often lock horns and attempt to knock one another off. All chameleons are loners and prefer to live a peaceful life away from other animals. The only time that females will allow a male to touch her is during mating, and even then she’ll only allow brighter colored males to do so.
Four horned chameleons like this one photographed at the @stlzoo are listed as Vulnerable on the #IUCN Red List. They are most threatened by the international pet trade as well as agricultural development of their native mountain forest habitats in Cameroon and Nigeria.
To see a video of a four horned chameleon check out @natgeo.
The Imperial Amazon Parrot, or Sisserou, is the majestic national bird of Dominica, endemic to the island's old-growth, oceanic rainforest. But following catastrophic Hurricane Maria, the Sisserou's future is hanging by a thread.
There are some recent, hopeful reports that a few of these birds may have survived Dominica's second Category 5 hurricane in 40 years, but to survey for them, there are critical needs that must be met now. Dominica's Forestry, Wildlife and Parks Division-- the oldest in the region, with the longest-running, continuous parrot research program-- is mounting a rapid wildlife assessment to ascertain the status of the Sisserou and other critical species. Access to difficult terrain demands a 4-wheel-drive vehicle (all of Forestry's vehicles were damaged or destroyed in the hurricane) and field operations costs to deploy 4-6 expert Forestry staff into Dominica's high mountains. The rapid assessment will fold into a long-term wildlife monitoring program that will run for many years.
In addition, the national aviary at the Botanical Gardens is badly crippled. All of the aviary birds survived-- including a single, female Sisserou-- but the enclosures are severely damaged and need to be replaced, along with the large flight cages for parrot rehabilitation and long-term care. The aviary is essential, as injured parrots are streaming in, with precious little space to house and care for them.
Capitalizing on their 20+ year partnership with Forestry, the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation is poised to direct 100% of all contributions directly to the parrot recovery effort. They will also submit donations for 1:1 matching under a grant agreement with the Tropical Conservation Institute, a conservation partnership developed with Florida International University.
Please, your generosity can make a world of difference for a species teetering on the edge of extinction. The largest of the Amazons-- the beautiful, iconic flagship species for The Nature Island-- needs your help. Save the Sisserou! (Rarespecies.org)
Right now, in Central and Southern Mexico, monarch butterflies are finishing their incredible 3,000 mile and 4-generation journey from the US and Canada and are settling in for the winter. This generation of monarchs will live happily in these warm climates for six to eight months until it is time to begin the whole journey again. They will then migrate back north for the summer, landing on milkweed to lay eggs for a new generation, and providing pollination to many plants along the way. With butterfly season coming to a close, we are wrapping up our #pollinatormonday campaign. Thank you so much for following us on our journey this summer! Pollinator Mondays may be coming to an end, but helping pollinators should never stop. Continue to support pollinators and help save the Great Monarch Migration by planting milkweed in the summer months, avoiding mowing before fall, and choosing to practice organic lawn and garden care. You can always click the link in my bio to freshen up your knowledge about pollinators and to learn more about how to help. Thank you for choosing to be a #pollinantorhero! Let’s continue to #savetogether!
The Photo Ark is now one million followers strong and words can’t express how grateful I am to each and every one of you for your continuous support of this project as well as the species we are trying to save. From the beginning, the Photo Ark has been about connecting the public to all creatures, large and small, in order to inspire action to save them. With your help we are showing the world what it has to lose if we don’t start caring about all of these beautiful, majestic, strange, and surprising animals that we share this planet with.
As a thank you, I’ve compiled some of my favorite images in a gallery that you can find by clicking the link in my bio. Use code 1MIL at checkout to get 20% off any 6.5 x 10 print in the gallery now until November 10th at midnight.
This is a huge milestone, but it doesn’t stop here. Let’s keep fighting for the voiceless and see what we can #SaveTogether!
It’s clear that the eyes of a spectral tarsier are exceptionally large. In fact, they’re the largest, relative to body weight, of any mammal on Earth. Though their huge eyes help spectral tarsiers see at night, they are set in their skulls and immobile, much like an owl’s. Tarsiers compensate for their lack of eye mobility by being able to rotate their heads a full 180 degrees to check out their surroundings. This tiny primate weighs only as much as 20 pennies and can easily fit into the palm of a human hand.
Spectral tarsier populations are in decline and the species is currently listed as Vulnerable on the #IUCN Red List. Their most significant threat by far is the degradation of their rainforest homes in Indonesia due to agriculture, illegal logging, and mining of limestone for cement manufacturing. To help save the tarsiers it is important to make sustainable purchasing choices and to continue supporting the conservation of rainforests.
This spectral tarsier was photographed at Night Safari, part of Wildlife Reserves Singapore (@WRS.ig).
To see a video of this adorable primate, check out @natgeo.
The Wyoming toad is widely considered extinct in the wild, though the cause of their swift decline in the 1960’s and 70’s is still unknown. The only existing populations are living in captivity and among a small group within the Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Wyoming which is maintained through introduction of captive-reared young. Sadly, this refuge is reportedly infected with the chytrid fungus, which is infamous for wiping out amphibian populations all over the world. The success of this extremely rare species is now completely dependent on the continuation of captive breeding programs.
This Wyoming toad was photographed at @theomahazoo, where last year 900 tadpoles were produced and shipped to Wyoming to be released among the population currently residing in at Mortenson Lake.
Happy #pollinatormonday from the most charismatic of all pollinators: the honeybee. The highly adaptable honeybee makes its home on every continent in the world, with the exception of Antarctica. This honeybee is lightly dusted with pollen, a result of visiting up to 2,000 flowers per day in the summertime. Honeybees are masters of communication and can alert other bees in their hive of the location of food and other resources by performing a complex movement called the “waggle dance”. The bee will “waggle” its body in relation to the resource’s location using the sun as an orientation point, and will have different movements and speeds for the distance and direction of the food. If the sun changes its location in the time it takes the bee to return to the hive, it knows to account for this change and will still convey correct information to its coworkers. The other workers in the hive read this information and can then work together to bring the resources back to the hive. The language of honeybees is regarded as the most complex and symbolic of all animal communications, and scientists still don’t fully understand the depth of its complexity. Austrian ethologist Karl von Frisch was the first to crack the code of the waggle dance and won the Nobel Prize for this eye-opening discovery in 1973. This little bee’s job is to forage all day, but despite all its hard work, a single honeybee will only produce about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. Honey packs a powerful punch, though, as just an ounce of it could fuel a single bee to fly all the way around the world. Now that’s efficiency!
Australian sea lions like this female photographed at @tarongazoo are social creatures and are usually found in a very large colonies on the beaches of the Southern and Western Australia. Females in these colonies often feed and care for one another’s offspring and have even been known to adopt pups whose mothers have died. However, male Australian sea lions can be extremely aggressive and females will resolutely defend the pups of their colony from them as well as other predators.
Currently, Australian sea lions are listed as Endangered on the #IUCN Red List and are fully protected within Australia, but sadly they are still victimized by unsustainable fisheries. Their food supply is depleted by overfishing and they often become entangled in fishing nets, which leads to drowning. You can help save the Australian sea lion and other marine life by researching where your seafood comes from and then making local, sustainable choices.