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 National Geographic Society and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have launched a new fellowship collaboration.
In partnership with ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Program, which focuses on the planet’s most unique and endangered species, the new 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
Yajaira 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 ZSL on the essential skills needed to undertake effective conservation projects. After the training, with ongoing mentorship and support from the National Geographic Society and ZSL, the Photo Ark EDGE Fellows will undertake a two-year fellowship project on their focal species.
Visit NatGeoPhotoArk.orgfor 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.
Want to become a National Geographic Explorer? Learn how you can apply for a grant from the National Geographic Society here. You can support our efforts to enable more cutting-edge scientists, conservationists and educators like these to get out into the field here.
Find out more about Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species, and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence Programme, at www.edgeofexistence.org.