National Geographic Photo Ark’s Joel Sartore at #WVC2017


The interaction between animals and their environments is the engine that keeps the planet healthy for all of us. But for many species, time is running out. When you remove one, it affects us all.

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo
Three critically endangered, yearling Burmese star tortoises, Geochelone platynota, at the Turtle Conservancy.

WVC is thrilled to have National Geographic Photographer, Joel Sartore, at Annual Conference this year. This is WVC’s first unopposed General Session for Sunday, March 5, 11:00am-12:15pm

Project Overview

The National Geographic Photo Ark is a multiyear effort to raise awareness of and find solutions to some of the most pressing issues affecting wildlife and their habitats. The Photo Ark’s three-pronged approach harnesses the power of National Geographic’s photography and the bold ideas of our explorers. Led by National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore, the project aims to document every species currently held in captivity, inspire action through education, and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.

Creating Portraits of Hope

Joel Sartore started the Photo Ark in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, over a decade ago. Since then, Sartore, a world-renowned photographer, has visited 40 countries in his quest to create a photo archive of global biodiversity, which will feature portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. Once completed, the Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them.
To date, Joel has completed portraits of more than 6,000 species. No matter its size, each animal is treated with the same amount of affection and respect. The results are portraits that are not just stunningly beautiful, but intimate and moving. “It’s the eye contact that moves people,” Sartore explains. “It engages their feelings of compassion and a desire to help.”

© Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark
An endangered Malayan tiger, Panthera tigris jacksoni, at Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo.

Inspiring Learning and Action

The National Geographic Photo Ark is a powerful tool to teach people of all ages about our planet’s amazing biodiversity and foster a real connection to Earth’s wildlife. The project engages students in the classroom through free educational materials and activities, and inspires the public through special exhibitions, books, TV specials, features in National Geographic magazine, and events around the world. An interactive digital experience allows people to engage with Photo Ark content on our website, explore animals in the collection, and share information about endangered species with their social networks.

Helping Protect Wildlife and Wild Places

National Geographic is working to help save species that are featured in the Photo Ark and nearing extinction. Building on National Geographic’s 129-year history of investing in bold people and transformative ideas, the Photo Ark supports innovative, on-the-ground conservation projects designed to reduce human threats to wildlife, protect critical habitats, and create lasting change. Learn more at

See What We Can #SaveTogether

Join us, and help make a difference by sharing, supporting, and saving. Donate at


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