For thousands of creatures living on Earth, time is running out. Although our planet’s wildlife and wild places are disappearing at an alarming rate, most threatened species still receive little or no conservation funding. To help save wildlife and sound the alarm for lesser-known species at risk, the EDGE of Existence programme at ZSL and National Geographic have launched a new fellowship collaboration.
In partnership with National Geographic, the new Nat Geo Photo Ark fellowships will support on-the-ground conservation efforts to help save creatures featured in the National Geographic Photo Ark. The Photo Ark is a flagship program of the National Geographic Society founded by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. It aims to document every species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.
The Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships will leverage the power of Sartore’s captivating portraits to bring attention to the global extinction crisis. They will also help put effective tools into the hands of conservationists working to turn the tide for species at risk.
Five candidates based in Latin America have been nominated for the inaugural Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships due to their track records and demonstrated commitment to species conservation. They are:
- Jamal Galves, Belize: Antillean Manatee, Trichechus manatus manatus (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
- Marina Rivero, Mexico: Baird’s Tapir, Tapirus bairdii (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
- Vinicius Alberici Roberto, Brazil: Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla (IUCN Red List: Vulnerable);
- Daniel Arauz, Costa Rica: Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered); and
- Yaijaira Garcia Feria, Mexico: Volcano Rabbit, Romerolagus diazi (IUCN Red List: Endangered).
From mid-January to mid-February 2018, these five candidates will attend a four-week Conservation Tools training course in Costa Rica. The course will include a National Geographic Sciencetelling Bootcamp where the candidates will learn from world-class National Geographic photographers, editors and digital video producers. The expert storytellers will teach the candidates how to showcase their work through captivating photos, compelling video and stories written from the field. They will also receive training from EDGE on the essential skills needed to undertake effective conservation projects. After the training, with ongoing mentorship and support from the National Geographic Society and the EDGE of Existence programme, the Photo Ark EDGE Fellows will undertake a two-year fellowship project on their focal species.
Visit NatGeoPhotoArk.org for updates on the program as the candidates head into the field for their training course and begin developing their action plans. In 2018, the next cohort of Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellows will be selected from Asia.