Photo: A male tiger swallowtail butterfly, Papilio glaucas.

Leadbeater’s Possum Becomes National Geographic Photo Ark’s 7,000th Species

With this image of the Leadbeater’s possum at Zoos Victoria, the Photo Ark has surpassed the 7,000 species milestone. This adorable marsupial was missing in action for more than 50 years before being rediscovered in 1961. The tiny possums are speedy and feisty, and, with estimates as low as 50 for the Lowland population, their status…

Joel Sartore Nominated for World’s Leading Animal Conservation Award

On Tuesday Joel Sartore, renowned photojournalist and champion of conservation of animal species large and small, was nominated for the Indianapolis Prize alongside 31 other global leaders in the field of animal conservation. Regarded as the world’s leading award for animal conservation, the Indianapolis Prize honors individuals across the globe who work to save species, educate…

See the Animals from “Rare” on PBS

Here are some of the amazing animals featured in RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark, airing July 2017 on PBS. I hope that my photographs will help people fall in love with the animals I capture, and realize that these rare species tie directly back into their own lives. Animals Featured in Episode 3 Missed Episode…

RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark

  Discover the diversity, beauty and value of thousands of species at risk of extinction, and travel the globe with renowned photographer and Photo Ark founder Joel Sartore in his quest to save them, premiering on PBS: Tuesday, July 18th, 9/8 CST. RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark

Joel Sartore Awarded Prestigious Rungius Medal

Joel Sartore, photographer and founder of The Photo Ark, was awarded the prestigious Rungius Medal at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming on Tuesday. The Rungius Medal, named in honor of renowned artist Carl Rungius, is presented from time to time by the National Museum of Wildlife Art to individuals who have made…

How To Become A Pollinator Hero

The monarch butterfly is a declining species that we can save together by pledging not to use herbicides and pesticides on our lawns, and by planting milkweed for butterflies to lay their eggs on. Order your milkweed seeds and partially grown plants called ‘stems’ from Monarchwatch.org or from your local plant nursery. Plant them and…

Joel Sartore Selected as 2016 Southeast Regional Recovery Champion

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service honors a select group of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the awareness and recovery of endangered species. Joel Sartore, creator of the Photo Ark, a groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear, has been selected as one of 2016’s Southeast Regional Recovery Champions. Joel Sartore’s many…

Photo Ark Zoo Exhibitions Open for Summer 2017

Zoos across the country are going to be seeing even more animals this summer! The images of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore’s Photo Ark project will be displayed at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, the Dallas Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo starting in April and May. The Photo Ark project was created to bring audiences face-to-face with…

‘Social Star’ Joel in Forbes

Joel and the Photo Ark recently caught the attention of Forbes, which included him in “How 10 Social Stars Use Their Influence for Good.” Here’s what they had to say: When National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore noticed the perilous state of many endangered species, he decided to document them before it was too late. Instagram proved the perfect…

Last Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog passes away

Extinction is Forever. “Toughie”, the world’s last Rabbs’ fringe-limbed treefrog, has died. The very last of his kind, this means the species is now extinct. Let’s hope with this historic event, we will finally stop and pay attention to the extinction crisis, not only for the sake of imperiled amphibians, but for humanity as well.…

Proboscis monkey becomes National Geographic Photo Ark’s 6000th species.

A proboscis monkey at the Singapore Zoo has become the 6000th species to come on board the National Geographic Photo Ark! Males of this species may use that huge nose to attract females and to amplify alarm calls as well.  A breeding colony of these endangered primates is kept at the Singapore Zoo, one of the…

Nikon Ambassador

Joel was recently welcomed into the prestigious Nikon Ambassador Program. The Program consists of 24 of the most talented and influential photographers of Nikon’s choosing. The program takes on photographers who will continue the Nikon Ambassador Program’s philosophy: “to empower photographers through education and inspiration, and work directly with Nikon to communicate the needs of an evolving…

The Today Show features the Photo Ark

Joel Sartore was featured on the Today Show to announce that ten different Photo Ark images will be featured on multiple covers of National Geographic Magazine’s April issue. A first in NGM’s history, the issue will go on sale worldwide in late March. Also appearing on the show was John Chapo, director of the Lincoln Children’s…

Photo Ark Lights Up the Vatican

Photo Ark teams up as part of a humanitarian coalition to present a gift of contemporary public art entitled “Fiat Lux: Illuminating our Common Home” to Pope Francis on the opening day of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. At this unprecedented and historic event, beautiful images of our shared natural world were projected onto the façade of St. Peter’s Basilica.        

Watch With The World

Racing Extinction Premiere: December 2, 2015: 9PM Local Time Discovery premieres Louie Psihoyos’ Racing Extinction film in more than 220 countries and territories around the world. Tune in to see how Photo Ark is featured in the project. More information here. Mass animal extinction. Global climate change. The problems are overwhelming. But the solutions can start…

Projecting Change: The Empire State Building

On Saturday, August 1st, 2015, Photo Ark images illuminated the Empire State Building in a first-of-its kind live video projection that showed beautiful, inspiring imagery of endangered species to the world as never seen before. For the first time in New York City history, this stand-alone, architectural projection art event featured towering images of endangered species—more…

​Planting A Future For Monarch Butterflies

A modest campaign to preserve a colorful but fragile creature is taking flight — tight in photographer Joel Sartore’s back yard: Watch the photo essay on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. I have a confession to make. A few years ago, on a farm I own in eastern Nebraska, I took 44 acres out of…

Photo Ark Reaches 4,000 Species

  The Photo Ark has reached an important milestone! This pygmy squid from Gulf Specimen Marine Lab in Panacea, FL, became the 4,000th species to be photographed by Joel Sartore. A long-time National Geographic contributor, Joel began this project in 2006 to document every captive species on Earth. He travels to zoos, aquariums, private breeders and…

De-extinction: Bringing species back from the dead

Gone, but not forgotten . . . the extinct passenger pigeon may be making a comeback. Watch the photo essay on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. When I was a boy, I had a Time-Life book called ‘The Birds’. In it was a section showing the few U.S. species we’d already lost to extinction; the…

Measurable Success for Photo Ark

It was almost too late when I first learned of the Florida grasshopper sparrow’s troubles. Down to just a few hundred in the remnant prairies of central Florida, the bird was in sudden, catastrophic decline, with biologists still unclear why. One morning in the spring of 2012, I accompanied writer Ted Williams and biologist Paul…

The Magnificent Sandhill Crane Migration

Every spring, over half a million cranes stop for several weeks along the Platte River in Nebraska seeking rest, refuge, and nutrition. Watch the photo essay on the CBS Sunday Morning Show.     When the Sandhill cranes first enter Nebraska, they’re so high up they’re all but invisible. You can’t blame them really; they’re…

The Endangered Species Act turns 40

On December 28, 1973 — Richard Nixon signed the ESA, which at the time made us the only nation on Earth to declare a basic right of existence for species other than our own. Watch the ESA photo essay on the CBS Sunday Morning Show. It’s the 1880s, and my fellow Nebraskan has made a…

The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years

The Power of Photography: National Geographic 125 Years will be on display at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, CA from October 26, 2013 through April 27, 2014. The show celebrates the publications’ 125 year anniversary and is open to the public. Building the Ark, Joel’s latest story for National Geographic, is featured…

We’re All Surrounded By Survivors

Look around you. The world is full of cancer survivors, and there are more all the time. Kathy Sartore was first diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago. She had a recurrence this year, but thanks to early detection, her prognosis is excellent. In August, Cole Sartore, Joel and Kathy’s 18-year-old son, was diagnosed with…

About the Photo Ark

It started simply enough with endangered amphibians. I read an essay on amphibian decline and knew I needed to do something to show these species to the world before they were gone forever.     How to Help  Some support for the project is being provided by National Geographic. The zoos and rescue facilities I’ve worked…

Lion Photo on Cover of 50 Best Pictures

Joel’s photo of a tree-climbing lion in Africa’s Albertine Rift is featured on the cover of NG’s 50 Greatest Pictures special issue. The Ishasha region of Queen Elizabeth National Park is home to some very unusual lions.  Unlike most other members of the species, these lions climb trees to nap during the day, waking up…

Two Photos Highly Commended in Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

Two of Joel’s images were selected as Highly Commended in the 2011 Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. Photos and the story behind them are below.  Both images are available as a signed print through this site– just click on the image’s title to learn more.     Storm Painting “It was one of…

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