Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

Founder of the @Natgeo Photo Ark, a 25-year project to show the world the beauty of biodiversity in all its forms, and inspire action to save species.

bit.ly/palmoileducation

803 posts 1,169,870 followers 263 following

Instagram photos and videos

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

Meet Suzie, the Sumatran orangutan! She arrived at the @gladysporterzoo in July of 1970 and is now over 55 years old. Over the years, those who care for her have watched her grow up from a friendly ball of orange fur to a caring maternal figure. Suzie has raised babies of her own, as well as one of her daughter's babies. In her later years, she became a rather accomplished artist, and used water-based paints and a brush to create paintings that were occasionally sold to raise funds for the Zoo’s conservation projects. Tragically, Sumatran orangutans are listed as critically endangered. They were once distributed over the entire island of Sumatra but are now restricted to small, scattered areas in its northern section. With Sumatra’s rainforests being cut and cleared at an alarming rate and turned into palm oil plantations, the orangutans’ greatest threats are habitat loss and illegal capture for the pet trade. Experts suggest that this species could be the first great ape to become extinct in the wild. One of the best ways you can help save this species is by voting with your dollar. Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on Earth and causes habitat loss for more than just this species. About half of all packaged goods from shampoo to peanut butter contain this oil and it isn’t always labeled clearly. Palm oil is often listed under other names to confuse consumers. Learn more at the link in my bio and educate yourself on how to avoid purchasing products that contain palm oil.


159   21,162  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

Meet Romakari, an okapi that was born at the @okapiconservation project breeding and research center in Epulu, DRC, and has played a crucial role in maintaining genetic diversity of okapi in the U.S. after being brought to @WhiteOakConservation in 1991. Today, Romakari and 17 other okapi live at White Oak's Florida refuge as part of their successful conservation programs. The okapi has been referred to as a 'forest giraffe', and hides so well that, though nearly as large as a horse, it wasn't even discovered by western scientists until 1901. As the national animal of the Democratic Republic of Congo, it has been protected since 1933. However, due to political instability, illegal mining, deforestation and poaching, the species was declared endangered in 2013. Did you know that agriculture drives 80 percent of tropical deforestation? Thankfully the @rainforestalliance is an organization working to reverse deforestation through collaboration with farmers and communities. They have trained farmers in some of the world's most vulnerable landscapes to farm in a way that boost crop yields, conserves forests, protects streams and rivers, nurtures soil health, and supports the well-being of their communities. So far, 8.6 million acres of agricultural land are being managed sustainably. To learn more about the other work they do and follow their efforts visit @rainforestalliance.


200   31,816  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

Did you know that flamingos have a very poor sense of taste and no sense of smell? This is probably a good thing, because wild lesser flamingos have specialized diets of blue-green algae and diatoms. Their diet restricts their habitats to hyper-alkaline and soda lakes and is also the reason for their pink coloring! The pigment of their feathers, legs, and face all come from the organisms they eat. As the blue-green algae they consume is digested, the pigments dissolve in fats and is transferred into the feathers, through this process the color becomes pink. Variations in their coloring can happen based on the volume they ingest. They are classified as near threatened by IUCN; and their main threats are decreasing breeding success, predation, human development, and pollution from to the soda lakes the birds rely on. Photographed at @clevemetroparks


193   30,288  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

This is Sterling, a five-year-old female silver fox @southwestwildlife. The silver fox is the same species as the more commonly recognized red fox – they simply have different pigmentation variations. Unfortunately, as grey is one of the most desirable colors, they are still bred and farmed for their fur. Sterling came from a terrible hoarding situation in Iowa, where 300 animals were found in deplorable conditions. As an accredited member of the American Sanctuary Association, @ southwestwildlife offered Sterling a home for life! She now lives with three other foxes at their sanctuary. Sterling is described by her keepers as very vocal and outgoing. When treats are being handed out, she’s been known to chase around one of her roommates to offer her treat to them! Southwest Wildlife is an non-profit organization that rescues and rehabilitates native mammals who have been injured, orphaned, or displaced. Animals that can’t be released back into the wild are given a home at their sanctuary.


204   33,638  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

This adorable brother and sister grey gibbon pair are Frodo, 16 and Samwise, 14. Frodo is described by his keepers as temperamental and impatient; Sammy is very sweet, patient, and inquisitive. Sadly, this species is listed as endangered by IUCN and is not very common in US zoos. According to IUCN, the population has decreased by 50% over the past three generations. These gibbons are threatened by reduction of habitat as well hunting by humans for food, use in traditional medicines, and the illegal pet trade. There are now too few in professionally- managed human care to keep their population sustained in the U.S. Thankfully, the self described “small but mighty” @millerparkzoo, where Frodo and Samwise were photographed, keeps these special siblings with great care.


82   19,095  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

This male markhor who was photographed @columbus_zoo. This is the largest goat species, with males weighing up to 240 lbs! They are excellent climbers and can be
found scaling rock or even climbing trees to avoid predators. Unfortunately, their incredible spiraled horns make them a target; they are poached for their for meat as well as their horns, which are used in some traditional medicines in Asia. Thankfully, @columbus_zoo supports a variety of projects and organizations working to protect the future of this species.


154   31,954  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

Can you guess Austin's namesake? He is a spotted shag who lives at The Coast at
@aucklandzoo and shares his home with a colony of little penguins and New Zealand plover. Spotted shags are a species of cormorant endemic to New Zealand’s coast and
get their name from the small black spots that appear on their backs and wings. All of the species located at The Coast are rescued from the wild of New Zealand and weren’t able to be released back into the wild due to their injuries. In fact, if you visit Austin at the zoo, you might see a few little penguins in his shared enclosure happily swimming along with just one flipper!


84   19,512  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

This is Hector, a dumeril’s monitor @lincolnchildrenszoo. His keepers describe him as trusting and patient with a big personality. In the wild, this species commonly feeds on insects, snails, crabs, frogs and fish. They are terrestrial to semi-aquatic, and have been known to remain submerged in water for up to 75 minutes. These lizards frequently soak, swim, and even sleep in water!


150   25,362  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

These critically endangered yearling radiated tortoises were hatched at @turtleconservancy in southern California. Radiated tortoises have widely been considered the most beautiful tortoise in the world. At one time they were believed to be the world’s most numerous as well, though sadly they have since suffered more than an 80% reduction in their native range. Major causes of decline include habitat destruction
for agriculture, horticulture, and charcoal production. Adults are poached for the bushmeat trade, while juveniles are collected illegally for the pet trade by the thousands. Widespread corruption and lack of enforcement under weak governmental control, along with extreme poverty are causing poaching to increase. The @turtleconservancy, where these tortoises were photographed, have partnered with several organizations and zoos to help fight animal trafficking in Madagascar and Asia, identifying trade routes, poachers, and buyers. In April of 2018, more than 10,000 young radiated tortoises were found in a house in Toliara, Madagascar. These animals were sick and held for months without food or water. The Turtle Conservancy went with an international coalition of organizations to triage these animals and help return them to their native range. To see the rescue of these tortoises and learn how you can help, watch the video linked in my bio.


242   34,060  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

This is a male golden skiffia from the @denverzoo. The zoo has been breeding and caring for this species since 1996, and this particular fish is eight years old. They are generally finicky and shy, hiding in plants under subtle lighting. Golden skiffia are livebearers, meaning the eggs remain inside the fish until they hatch, then the mother gives birth. Females can carry up to 15 young at a time. Sadly, this species is extinct in the wild according to IUCN and has been since the 1970’s. Originally these fish were endemic to the Teuchitlán Springs in the upper Ameca River basin about 12 miles to the west of Guadalajara, but now are found only under human care. The Denver zoo continues to make sure this species survives by participating in captive breeding.


44   9,505  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

This a barbary striped grass mouse @zoobudapest. This species is native to Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Their life expectancy in the wild is rather short, rarely longer than six months. However, they can live up to four years in captivity! This species resides in grass nests with one large opening. Their diet primarily consists of grass stems which they store in their nest.


93   20,785  

Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

I am often asked what it is like to work so closely with animals. In the September issue of @natgeo magazine I wrote about my close encounter with the Marburg virus while on assignment. Read the story at the link in my bio, or in this month’s @natgeo magazine. Pictured: Egyptian fruit bats at a huge bat cave near Jacana Lodge in the Maramagambo Forest. The bats here have tested positive for the Marburg virus, a deadly hemorrhagic fever.


503   46,874