Ronan Donovan@ronan_donovan

In the midst of the Anthropocene, I strive to create visual stories that document the plight of our changing world. National Geographic photographer.

http://www.ronandonovan.com/

184 posts 177,361 followers 1,022 following

Fitting that the alignment of the sun and moon are at the top of 2017 Likes on my Instagram page. Here's to another lap around that glorious warm star. Happy New Year to all! May 2018 bring us more sentient gorilla and elephant beings, playful bears and wizard trees!🤞🏼🤠


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A lone elephant reaches for the the leaves of a tall tree in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique. I'm here this week with National Geographic Society helping to teach a workshop for scientists about how to communicate the great work that they do. #mozambique #africa #elephant

Parque Nacional De Gorongosa
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The next generation of mountain gorillas looks like this little face. This not yet named 3-month-old rests in the comfort of its mother's arms. Surrounded by its family and protected by dedicated armed guards, this baby will have the greatest chance in the history of Volcanoes National Park of reaching adulthood. Thanks to the ardent work by the Rwandan government and the team at @savinggorillas #rwanda #mountaingorilla #volcanoesnationalpark #wildlife @natgeo @natgeocreative

Volcanoes National Park
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As the mountain gorilla population continues to grow in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, there is also an increase in the population of people living alongside park - 1,813 people per square mile call Musanze District home. This photo illustrates that hard edge between the forest and the crops, an edge that represents more than just a transition from wilderness to tamed land. It represents land that used to be gorilla habitat, land where humans and gorillas are coming into contact as gorillas begin day trips across this edge to feed on tamed crops - introduced eucalyptus and native bamboo. If you're curious to learn more, check out the link in my bio to my recent article in National Geographic Magazine, written by Elizabeth Royte. Also, check out @savinggorillas for the legacy work of Dian Fossey. @natgeo

Volcanoes National Park
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Here's another image of Ubwuzu. He's an 11 year old male Mountain Gorilla living on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi in northern Rwanda. Of the nearly 60 mountain gorillas that I spent time with during my assignment for National Geographic Magazine, Ubwuzu's personality stands out in my memory. His age makes him a curious teenager, playful with his peers and even though he grew up being watched daily by researchers, he still shows an interest in his fellow apes. Learn more about the status of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda in the current issue of National Geographic Magazine with story by Elizabeth Royte titled The Gorillas Dian Fossey Saved. Link in my bio. Thanks to @savinggorillas for all their conservation work and for the on-the-ground support while I was on assignment. I'll be posting photos and stories from the assignment for the next few weeks, so follow along to learn more. #natgeo #rwanda #mountaingorillas

Volcanoes National Park
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Two adolescent male mountain gorillas - Ubwuzu, 11, and Agahebuzo, 10 - grapple in a playful embrace. These two 300lb giants tussled for 10 minutes, taking short breaks between bouts to catch their breath. The elevation and moving those large bodies left them both breathing heavily. This is an unpublished image series from my article in the current issue of National Geographic Magazine titled The Gorillas Dian Fossey Saved, written by Elizabeth Royte. Link in my bio. #gorilla #rwanda @savinggorillas @natgeo @natgeocreative #volcanoesnationalpark

Volcanoes National Park
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#sponsored – Every ecosystem needs its natural predators. Just like orcas in the ocean or wolves in the northern latitudes, male lions - like this one in Western Uganda - play an integral role in the savannah landscapes of Eastern Africa.
#devourlife #carnivorwines


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Meet Ubwuzu. He's an 11 year old male Mountain Gorilla living on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi in northern Rwanda. Of the nearly 60 mountain gorillas that I spent time with during my assignment for National Geographic Magazine, Ubwuzu's personality stands out in my memory. His age makes him a curious teenager, playful with his peers and even though he grew up being watched daily by researchers, he still shows an interest in his fellow apes. Here, he's peering through the leaves at me and my camera, swaying back and forth as he observes how the light dances off the glass of my lens. I'll be posting some unpublished images from this story, now on the newsstands and digital in the September issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Volcanoes National Park
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Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park makes up one of the two remaining island habitats for the remaining Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas. This image was taken from the steep slopes of Mount Karisimbi looking east to Mount Muhabura - both in which are dormant volcanos over 13,000ft tall. I took this photo during a brief pause while the team searched for the Pablo group of Mountain Gorillas. For 12 days in a row, we hiked up to find this gorilla group and to document their daily lives for National Geographic Magazine @natgeo. Learn more about the status of Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda in the current issue of National Geographic Magazine with story by Elizabeth Royte titled The Gorillas Dian Fossey Saved. Thanks to @savinggorillas for all their conservation work and for the on-the-ground support while I was on assignment. I'll be posting photos and stories from the assignment for the next few weeks, so follow along to learn more. #natgeo #rwanda #mountaingorillas

Volcanoes National Park
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Solar flares are only visible during a total solar eclipse. Just as the Moon begins to totally cover up the sun, gigantic flares called solar prominences become visible, arcing out from the edge of the Moon. These solar flares are coming off the sun’s surface and loop for millions of miles into space. They can only be seen on the ground during the moments near totality. What an awesome spectacle to behold. #eclipse #solareclipse #solareclipse2017 #wyoming

Grand Teton National Park
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#sponsored // The goal of my photography is to share important conservation stories from around the world and I’m always open to new avenues for disseminating those stories. Recently, I had the opportunity to share my story with the folks at @CarnivorWine and their audience.
#devourlife #carnivorwines


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Owls have always captivated me since I was a child. They're large birds that are rarely seen, but often heard to a trained ear. My first wildlife job out of college was monitoring the nesting success of spotted owls in Yosemite National Park as part of an ongoing fire fire ecology study. It was 2006 and I drove from Vermont to Yosemite with a used film camera I'd just bought on eBay. I spent the summer learning about what it meant to be a naturalist, about the importance of conserving wild things and wild places and learning from friends along the way. That summer became the foundation for the work that I'm doing now. It has been an immense joy to return and to remember those days. Thank you @mcdonald.mike.a for spending a few late nights in the old growth forests searching for owls again and for continuing to teach me. And thanks @yosemitenps for preserving this place. Check out my Instagram story for some behind the scenes for this photo.

Yosemite Village, California
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