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Butterflies turn elephant dung into something special on the road into Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

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Cattlemen run their herd illegally inside Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. With no room for grazing animals left outside the park’s boundary, livestock are moved into the park, often with disastrous results for the lions who prey on the herds.

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A park guard watches helplessly as cattle graze illegally inside Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. With no room for grazing animals left outside the park’s boundaries, livestock are moved into the park, often with disastrous results for the lions who prey on the herds.

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Cattlemen push their herds back into town after a day of grazing illegally inside Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. With no room for grazing animals left outside the park’s boundary, livestock are moved into the park, often with disastrous results for the lions who prey on the herds.

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A waterbuck is surrounded by cattle inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The cattle are in the park illegally, and conflicts arise daily when lions find the cows to be easy prey.

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At dusk, a hippo stares down a remote camera placed at a favorite water hole in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

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An infrared camera trap captures hyenas near their den in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

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A lioness feeds on the remains of a cow inside Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. As the human population grows in East Africa, more cattle are pushed into the park, leading to more lion kills–and more poisoning of the lions by cattlemen.

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Main roadway, Ishasha Section, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. This area’s wilderness qualities and lack of good roads has been one thing that has saved it from an influx of humans, up until now.

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An elephant, poached not far from the ranger station well inside Queen Elizabeth National Park. The ivory from this animal represents a fortune to local villagers…as more people move in, the pressure to poach will only increase.

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With the great antelope herds gone, dung beetles now make use of horse manure along Lake Albert in the Albertine Rift of Uganda.

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Lesser masked weavers wait their turn for a dinner roll at Mweya Lodge in Uganda. Money from eco-tourism will not be enough here to counter the demands of thousands of villagers who want access to the national parks for farming.

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A warthog lies down and gets cleaned of parasites by a group of banded mongoose near Mweya Lodge. This is the only place in the world where such a ‘mammal cleaning station’ is known.

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Agricultural plots meet Queen Elizabeth National Park at the base of the Ankole Hills. The fields push farther into the park each year, leaving herders no choice but to push their livestock deeper and deeper into the remaining national parks.

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A fishing village along the shore of Lake Albert, where locals have started sewing their mosquito netting together to literally strain the lake of the last of the fish here. All they’re getting are minnows at this point.

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Thunderstorms over the eastern shore of Lake Albert, Uganda.

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Giraffe can be found in great numbers again in Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park, but perhaps not for long. The government has been approving oil drilling, which will introduce more roads and disrupt the animals in their already reduced and fragile habitat.

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At the fishing village of Kyehoro residents dunk gerry cans at dusk in Lake Albert to gather dirty water to drink.

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At the fishing village of Kyehoro, local boys now catch what few fish remain. This lake used to be famous for its massive Nile perch, but sizes and stocks have dwindled due to massive overfishing.

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Along the eastern side of Lake Albert, the difference in vegetation is striking. On the east side of the main road lies the Bugungu Wildlife Reserve. One the west side lies a community area where cattle have severely overgrazed the landscape.

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Along the eastern side of Lake Albert, overnighting goats represent the pressure that increasing human populations have on the land. There are 4 to 5 goats for every Ugandan living in this community.

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At the fishing village of Kyehoro, the locals catch tiny carpenter fish for food for themselves, and to sell as animal feed. Here, a woman spreads fish on a dirt road to dry in the sun, and adds dirt to give the fish more weight when she sells them. This is the smallest fish (and last fish species) they can strain from Lake Albert; people turned to it after Nile perch populations dwindled due to overfishing.

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An aerial of the Explosion Craters area in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.

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The human devastation to the landscape around Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest is growing every year. This is one of only two places remaining with mountain gorillas. Slash and burn agriculture continues to assault Bwindi from all sides.

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In the crater lakes of the Rift, villagers alter the water flows to create patchy saltworks as one way to make a living.

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A biologist radio collars a lioness in the Ishasha Section of Queen Elizabeth National Park.

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A videographer poses with a park ranger in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

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A group of elephants roams the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.

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The opening spread of the Albertine Rift article, from the November, 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine

Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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