Photo by Beverly Joubert @beverlyjoubert | “You look straight ahead. You try to breathe normally. You can smell the scent of the huge cat that is staring back. You are a cameraman. He is the King of Beasts.” There's no feeling quite like looking directly into the eyes of a true predator. Your primitive being awakens immediately, recognizing that the animal before you is a phenomenal force with which to be reckoned. For me, trying to convey the power of that feeling in a single camera frame is an endless challenge, and clicking the shutter has become almost as instinctual as the hairs that can rise up on the back of my neck. But it's not just the stories and images that we can convey; responsible nature-based tourism, of “hunting” with our eyes and our cameras, offers us an effective, invigorating, and sustainable way of safeguarding species and their habitats, as well as uplifting the communities that live alongside wildlife. In a world where lions have vanished from 90% of their historic range, their numbers falling to dangerous lows, this is an important, minimum-impact conservation tool, bringing in money for conservation, preserving wild habitats, and cementing the relationship with nature that we need. #thisismytrophy
Photo by Brian Skerry @brianskerry | An Atlantic bluefin tuna nearly 10 feet in length and weighing close to 1000 pounds swims past a diver in the chilly, green waters of Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence. Bluefin possess incredible biology; they continue to grow their entire lives, swim faster than torpedoes, crisscross the ocean each year, and generate heat in their bodies, allowing them to swim into cold waters to feed. Revered for centuries, their stocks have now dwindled. Follow @BrianSkerry to see more wildlife in the sea and to read the stories behind the photos. #bluefintuna #tuna
Photo by Hannah Reyes Morales @hannahreyesmorales | Girls join hands during their ballet class on a basketball court in one of Rio's largest favelas. It's run by ballerina Tuany Nascimiento, who is from the community. Years ago, when Tuany couldn't afford the commute to classes, she would practice by herself. Soon, young girls started watching and asking her to teach them. From three girls, they grew to more than 50, dancing amid challenges, sometimes cancelling sessions because of gun violence in the community. I witnessed their dancing, each movement a lesson in grace in every sense of the word. #Followme @hannahreyesmorales , for more stories while on the road.
Photo by Lucas Foglia @lucasfogliaphoto | It’s National Honey Bee Awareness Day! Did you know that every honey bee you see pollinating a flower is female? Each hive has one queen, with 100 female worker bees for every male drone bee. The queen’s only job is to lay eggs and a drone’s only job is to mate with the queen. The female worker bees are responsible for everything else: gathering nectar, guarding the hive and honey, caring for the queen and larvae, keeping the hive clean, and producing honey. Bees give new meaning to the phrase "A woman’s work never ends." They pollinate 70 of the top 100 consumer food crops, which supply about 90 percent of the world's nutrition. #NationalHoneyBeeAwarenessDay
Photo by Lynsey Addario @lynseyaddario | A mother and son about to board a rescue ship, the Aquarius, at sea off the coast of Libya in the Mediterranean, operated by @doctorswithoutborders This image is an outtake from a 2016 project documenting migration into Europe. During its time at sea, the Aquarius rescued roughly 80,000 migrants and refugees from the Mediterranean. Without the work of @doctorswithoutborders and dozens of other rescue organizations on the Mediterranean, thousands more would have lost their lives. Rescue ships like the Aquarius are no longer allowed to operate in the Mediterranean, and dinghies carrying migrants from Libya are often turned away. To see more of my work, follow @lynseyaddario
Photo by Jasper Doest @jasperdoest | At the end of a long day at her veterinary practice, Odette Doest makes supper, accompanied by Bob and, on her shoulder, Willy, a two-year-old free-flying, chestnut-fronted macaw that she rescued as a chick. Odette and her son also share their home with nine cats and eight dogs. Bob is unfazed by his housemates. Bob is a Caribbean flamingo from the island of Curaçao. His life took a dramatic turn when he flew into a hotel window, leaving him severely concussed. He was cared for by Doest, a local vet (and also my cousin ) who also runs a wildlife rehabilitation center and conservation charity—the Fundashon Dier en Onderwijs Cariben. Existing disabilities meant Bob couldn’t be released, but instead he became ambassador for @fdoccuracao , which educates locals about the importance of protecting the island’s wildlife. Follow @jasperdoest for more images of Flamingo Bob and other stories about the human-wildlife relationship. #birdrescue #flamingo #prettyinpink #flamingobob #curacao
Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto | Battling to stay afloat, American speleologist Erin Lynch struggles to pull her way across a raging torrent of white water that relentlessly bombards her. She holds on while crossing the main river in China's Quankou Dong cave and explores beyond. Following very heavy rains, these caves in Wulong County are impassable.
Video by Bertie Gregory @bertiegregory | A male polar bear opens an eye during a nap on the west coast of Hudson Bay, Canada. This male bear was in no rush. He was waiting near the water’s edge in anticipation for the big freeze: an annual event when the ocean turns into a rock-solid ice pathway. This ice allows him to hunt his primary prey, the ringed seal. To see this guy in action and to learn more about polar bears’ incredible lives, watch ‘Wild_Life: The Big Freeze’. Premiering this Friday, 8/16 at 9pm EST on Nat Geo Wild. Follow @bertiegregory for more on the series. #bear #arctic #cold #wildlife #wild_Life
Photo by Ami Vitale @amivitale | Elephants enjoy a mud bath at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary ( @r.e.s.c.u.e ). A coating of soil helps protect sensitive elephant skin by acting as both sunscreen and insect repellent. These elephants are being cared for by members of the local community: “We take care of the elephants, and the elephants are taking care of us. We now have a relationship between us.” Follow @amivitale to learn how I am using my personal photography to support @r.e.s.c.u.e's crucial work. @conservationorg @thephotosociety @natgeoimagecollection #protectelephants #elephants #stoppoaching #kenya #worthmorealive
Photo by Stephen Alvarez @salvarezphoto | Sunrise on the Circle Cliffs, Utah. Sometimes it is easiest to see what’s important in the rearview mirror. These spectacular cliffs were removed from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and opened for mining by presidential proclamation in 2017. Besides being visually stunning, the Circle Cliffs house archaeological sites that trace human occupation of the area for thousands of years. For more images from this @insidenatgeo project examining landscape and rock art in western national monuments, follow me @salvarezphoto and my non profit @ancientartarchive
Photo by Beverly Joubert @beverlyjoubert | It may seem like a ubiquitous sight: a pair of serene, long-necked giants ambling their way across a grassland landscape toward tea-colored water. It's as if they have the place to themselves. But we know the reality is very different: giraffe populations are in alarming decline, and habitat loss is one of the biggest threats they face. For a towering, supersized browser, the pressures of survival in landscapes increasingly hemmed in by humans can be especially intense. In fact, studies have shown that giraffes living near dense human settlements have larger home ranges, requiring them to travel greater distances and use up more precious energy to obtain critical resources. Just like a deep channel blocking their path, more and more barriers impact the animals' chances of survival, and they are certainly not alone. Will we pull together to slow the looming extinctions, stabilize the climate, and prioritize the health of the planet over short-term developmental gains? As of 2018, 14.9 percent of the Earth’s land surface and 7.3 percent of the world’s oceans are formally protected. We have a long way to go, but it is possible—if we just don't leave things too late. #spacefornature
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | When you're a penguin, there's no telling when you might become a sea lion's lunch. These rockhopper penguins race toward shore in groups because it increases the odds of survival; you're less likely to be picked off by a hungry predator when you're surrounded by a dozen birds that look just like you, and if you're faster than all the others, then that's great news for you. Penguins have evolved for life on land and in the ocean, but once you've seen the way they move through and over water, it's hard to call them flightless. At the very least, these rockhopper penguins in the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas ) seem to remember what it was to soar through the sky, before evolution took them out of the air and gave them the sea to fly through instead. Follow me @PaulNicklen for more photos and stories from some of the most remote parts of the world. #naturephotography #penguins #explore #gratitude
Photo by Muhammed Muheisen @mmuheisen | It was a special moment watching and photographing the moon as it rose above the columns of the ancient Temple of Poseidon, built in 444 B.C., in Cape Sounion, Greece. For more photos and videos from different parts of the world, follow me @mmuheisen and @mmuheisenpublic #muhammedmuheisen #Greece #Sounion #Poseidon
Photo by Daniella Zalcman @dzalcman | On this day three years ago, a group of Lakota riders from the Standing Rock, Rosebud, and Lower Brule reservations came together on horseback to push back a police line that had formed between a group of native water protectors and the entrance to the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site. The demonstration was planned and peaceful, but was meant to signal to both the local county police and the construction team, which had begun bringing heavy machinery up the hill to finish the last segment of the pipeline, that their community was staunchly against a project they believed would have catastrophic environmental consequences and directly undermine tribal sovereignty. Today, native Hawaiians are similarly standing together at Mauna Kea to prevent the construction of the $1.4 billion Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT ) in a spot of deep ecological, spiritual, and cultural significance to Hawaiians. This seems to be a story we can find at any moment in post-contact American history. #standingrock #maunakea
Photo by Renan Ozturk @renan_ozturk | Kagi and Lakpa Sherpa are hit by the first rays of light near the summit of Everest. The role of "climbing sherpas" has changed and evolved over time, and I believe these days the Nepalis working in this field have more and more control over the outcome of every expedition. We learned this the hard way on our recent #everestmystery assignment and @natgeochannel film. Stay tuned for more story details and follow me @renan_ozturk for more images from the roof of the world.
Photo by Tasneem Alsultan @TasneemAlsultan | The largest single structure in At-Turaif is Salwa Palace, sprawling across 10,000 square meters. Dating to the early 18th century, the palace (3D projection mapping on Salwa Palace seen here ) was the home of the royal family and served as the seat of government during the first Saudi state. #AtTuraif #SaudiArabia #Diriyah #SaudiArabia
Video by Bertie Gregory @bertiegregory | This beautiful female grey wolf approached us with her pack on the west coast of the Hudson Bay, Manitoba, Canada. She was bold and curious, and I distinctly remember hearing the crunching of the icy snow under her feet. Never once did we feel even remotely threatened. To see this close encounter, watch ‘Wild_Life: The Big Freeze’. Premiering this Friday, 8/16 at 9pm EST on Nat Geo Wild. Follow @bertiegregory for more on the series. #wild_life #animals #wolves #blackwolf #snow
Video by David Chancellor @chancellordavid | Sound on! Off to a wedding in northern Kenya with the warriors of the Samburu. The moran (warriors ) of the Samburu, such as these, play a vital role in the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife and preservation of the ecosystems that support it. Such community engagement is essential if wildlife and human populations are to coexist at all, particularly in such a complicated environment, which is prone to drought, flood, and tribal conflict. Right now we are poised between the old and the new. A new generation of moran are being initiated, and the previous generation have been granted permission to marry. We can only hope that the next generation will support the continued presence of wildlife in this region, where livestock and people precariously coexist. We are bathed in the songs of weddings, and those of initiates. To see more, follow me here @chancelllordavid this is living with #butterfliesandwarriors
Photo by Joel Sartore @joelsartore | Today is World Lizard Day! A tokay gecko strikes a pose during a photo shoot @sunsetzoomhk Two variants of tokay geckos exist: red-spotted and black-spotted. The coloration of this species is important for camouflage, and they can actually lighten or darken their skin color to better blend in with their environment. To see other colorful species in the Photo Ark and learn how you can protect animals like this one in the wild, follow me @joelsartore #WorldLizardDay #tokaygecko #cute #PhotoArk #savetogether
Photo by Lynsey Addario @lynseyaddario | Fighters with the Kurdish militia, the YPG, await surrenders of men, women, and children in the human corridor in the edge of Baghouz, Syria, in March 2019. This is an outtake from a forthcoming story for @natgeo , to be published in November. To see more of my work, follow @lynseyaddario
Photo by Dina Litovsky @dina_litovsky | People walk on a hardened lava field at the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, Hawaii. The expansive park is home to two volcanoes, including Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. For more images around the world, follow me @dina_litovsky
Photo by Katie Orlinsky @katieorlinsky | Methane lake fire in Fairbanks, Alaska. I've been photographing in the Arctic for close to six years, trying to tell stories that put a human face on climate change. For nearly two of those years I've been working on “The Carbon Threat” for @natgeo , online today (link in my bio @katieorlinsky ). The article, written by @craigwelch , tackles the urgent subject of permafrost thaw. It has been one of the most challenging stories I have ever photographed, a journey that fluctuated from frustrating and disturbing to fascinating and inspiring at a moment's notice. What is happening to our planet is not easy to swallow, but we must confront it head-on. I hope our article can help the public and policymakers recognize this new, groundbreaking reality and take action. Arctic permafrost is thawing much faster than expected, releasing carbon gases that could drastically speed up climate change. Scientists say what was once hundreds of years away could now happen in our lifetime, with permafrost thaw releasing nearly three times more greenhouse gases than expected. In this image, flammable methane, a potent greenhouse gas, bubbles from the thawing permafrost beneath a frozen lake. When you punch a hole through the ice, the gas escapes and can be measured—or set on fire— as a scientist demonstrates here. Permafrost refers to the layer of continuously frozen soil that covers almost 1/4th of the Earth’s surface, found mostly in the Arctic. Most permafrost areas have been frozen for more than 10,000 years. And trapped inside permafrost are carbon dioxide and methane gas, built up from thousands of years of decomposing organic matter. If the amount of CO2 trapped in the Earth’s permafrost was released, it would be two times the amount we currently have in the atmosphere. Meanwhile, methane is 25 times as potent as CO2, and if released could make today’s fossil fuel emissions look like chump change.
Photo by Andy Mann @andy_mann | Scalloped hammerheads number into thousands off Darwin Island, Galápagos. These aggregations are legendary and almost nowhere else can you find schools like this outside of the Cocos Range, an underwater mountain chain connecting the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Cocos Islands, Costa Rica. Shot on a recent expedition to study the undersea range as a whole that culminated in an international protection plan between the two countries. Science and storytelling are a powerful team. @sealegacy Please follow me @andy_mann for the wilder side of sharks.
Photo by Brian Skerry @brianskerry | Green sea turtles mate off Buck Island in St. Croix. These waters were protected by President Kennedy in 1961 as a national monument, and because of this effort, animals like sea turtles have rebounded, along with so many more in these important ecosystems. The U.S. Park Service has had a decades-long program to study sea turtles here and help restore their populations. To see many more photos of ocean animals and read the stories behind the pictures follow @BrianSkerry #stcroix #seaturtles #buckisland
Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride | Layers of light, sand, and time in what is considered the oldest drylands in the world: the Namib Desert, which stretches 102,248 square miles (270,000 square kilometers ) along the southwestern edge of the African continent. To see more wild places, follow @pedromcbride #aerial #nature #light #Namibia #Namibdesert
Photo by Babak Tafreshi @babaktafreshi | The peak night of the Perseids meteor shower in Yosemite National Park, California. The iconic Half Dome and El Capitan sit under the rising Pleiades (also known as the Seven Sisters ) and the pale patch of California Nebula (top left ). This beautiful annual show peaks on the nights of August 12-13, with more meteors after midnight. This year the nearly full moon will hide some of the meteors, but the brighter fireballs still will turn on your sleepy eyes! The moon sets near 4 a.m., and depending on your position, in the one hour of dark sky before dawn, you may see one or two meteors appear each minute (far from light pollution ). Perseids don’t necessarily appear near the shower radiant in the Perseus constellation; they can be anywhere in the sky. Follow me @babaktafreshi for more of astronomy and space photography.
Photo by Frans Lanting @franslanting | A lone bull elephant stands at the edge of a water hole, swaying his tail and rumbling as only elephants can do, while the sky turns blood red on a winter evening in Botswana. I share this image to mark World Elephant Day, a time to reflect on what elephants mean to us, what we’ve been doing to them, and what we can do for them. I’d like to draw attention to the organizations that have forged a strong coalition aimed at reversing the poaching crisis that has decimated elephant populations almost everywhere. The @ElephantCrisisFund was established by @SaveTheElephants in partnership with @LeonardoDiCaprioFdn and @WildNetOrg They support the right people in the right places and they are making a real difference. Check them out and lend your support so they can do even better. And follow @FransLanting for more intimate encounters with elephants. @ThePhotoSociety #Elephants #Respect #Dignity #Conservation #Wonder
Photo by @FransLanting // Sponsored by @ikeausa // A newborn chimpanzee sleeps on her mother’s chest during a midday siesta. While tracking chimps in Senegal for @NatGeo , I learned a lot about the differences between chimps and humans when it comes to sleep patterns. Chimps curl up in tree nests at sunset and wake up at sunrise, which gives them up to 12 hours of rest. But they also take breaks during the day to nap—a routine I wish I could emulate more myself. // A good night's sleep is going extinct. Build your sanctuary today. #SaveOurSleep
Photo by Beverly Joubert @beverlyjoubert | For World Elephant Day, I'm posting an image of the burning tusks from thousands of elephants in Kenya in 2016, the largest ivory burn to date. These burns are controversial acts against poaching because of the high monetary value of ivory, and while Kenya didn’t expect this to end the poaching, it sent a strong message: Elephants are worth more alive, and Kenya was stepping up its war against those who traffic in wildlife and wildlife products. Why not sell the ivory and use the money for the conservation of these animals? Well, these tusks are mostly from elephants illegally killed for their ivory, which has been confiscated over the years, and Kenya refused to make money from contraband. Also, in the past ivory released for sale ended up fueling the demand, and there was a sudden and extreme rise in elephant poaching, which has cost countries countless more millions than were ever raised from sales. Tanzania lost over half its elephant population in just five years, and Africa lost a whopping third of all elephants. Many people don’t know that elephants are killed for their tusks and believe that they fall out naturally. They don’t. Since this burn, a number of important things have happened. China has banned the sale of ivory, and while there is still illegal trade, prices have fallen dramatically and so has elephant poaching. However, in southern Africa, where the world's last substantial elephant population remains, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe are calling for an end to the ban in trade of raw ivory and are planning to apply for these changes at the next CITES to conference, declaring that the money raised will be used for conservation and anti-poaching. #WorldElephantDay #worthmorealive #saynotoivory #kenyaivoryburn #whenthebuyingstopsthekillingcantoo