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Let’s Save Endangered Species Before It’s Too Late

Species are disappearing at an alarming rate, but together we can help.

The National Geographic Photo Ark is is using the power of photography to inspire people to help save species at risk before it’s too late. Photo Ark founder Joel Sartore has photographed 8,000 species around the world, including many that face growing threats to their survival. You can learn more about how to help protect these creatures by clicking on the images below.

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Featured Species

Photo Ark

Australian Sea Lion


Neophoca cinerea


Australia Zoo in Sydney, Australia


Endangered

 


Fewer than 15,000


57% decline in three generations

This is the only pinniped (fin-footed mammal) species that is endemic to Australia. Unlike any other sea-lion species, its reproductive cycle does not fit in a whole year and lasts about 18 months.

The National Geographic Society gives grants to fund research and conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the Australian Sea Lion. Help support our efforts by donating today.

Donate

Plastic waste is polluting our oceans and threatening the survival of species like the Australian Sea Lion. You can help clean up marine habitats by avoiding single-use plastic products or volunteering at a local beach clean-up.

Photo Ark

Grey Crowned-Crane


Balearica regulorum


Parc des Oiseaux Bird Park in Villars les Dombes, France


Endangered

 


Fewer than 50,000


Over 50% decline in 19 years

The grey crowned-crane has white cheeks and can "blush" when excited or parading. Unfortunately, the species is highly sought after by poachers who will illegally capture adult birds and remove eggs from nest.

The National Geographic Society is supporting on-the-ground research to help protect the grey crowned-crane. Help support our efforts by donating today.

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Grey crowned-cranes that remain in the wild find their wetland breeding grounds increasingly tainted by pesticides. By reducing your use of pesticides when farming or gardening, you can help protect wetland species in your area.

Photo Ark

European Mink


Mustela lutreola


Madrid Zoo in Madrid, Spain


Critically Endangered

 


Fewer than 10,000


90% decline since the beginning of the 20th Century

The European mink was once very common in Europe, but its habitat has been almost wiped out by degradation and pollution in recent decades.

The National Geographic Society gives grants to fund research and conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the European mink. Help support our efforts by donating today.

Donate

Water pollution is a major threat to the European mink. Be mindful of what you pour down the drain -- oils and cleaning chemicals often make their way from your sink to the nearby rivers and streams that minks call home.

Photo Ark

Antillean Manatee


Trichechus manatus ssp. manatus


Dallas World Aquarium in Dallas, Texas, United States


Endangered

 


Fewer than 5,000


Predicted to be more than 20% over the next two generations

Despite having a big barrel-shaped body, manatees avoid cold waters because they have little body fat to keep them warm in cold temperatures. They can also regrow their teeth, which wear out quickly from eating.

The National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowship is supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts to better understand and protect the Antillean manatee. Help support efforts like these by donating today.

Donate

Plastic waste is polluting our oceans and threatening the survival of species like the Antillean manatee. Help clean up marine habitats by avoiding single-use plastic products or volunteering at a local beach clean-up.

Photo Ark

Citron-Crested Cockatoo


Cacatua sulphurea citrinocristata


Jurong Bird Park in Singapore


Critically Endangered

 


Fewer than 1,000


Up to 20% decline in a single year because of trapping.

This is the only cockatoo species with a conspicuous orange crest. It is endemic to Sumba Island in Central Indonesia, but recently as many as 500 are illegally captured each year to be traded and sold as pets.

The National Geographic Society has joined with leading organizations in bird conservation to declare 2018 the Help support efforts like these by donating today.

Donate

We’re celebrating the Year of the Bird in 2018 by taking action to protect birds and their habitats. You can help by growing native plants and turning your backyard, porch, or windowsill into a vital resting spot for birds.

Photo Ark

African Wild Dog


Lycaon pictus


Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, Nebraska, United States


Endangered

 


Fewer than 7,000


Unknown

Each African wild dog’s yellow, black, and white fur has a different color pattern. African wild dogs live in a wide variety of habitats, but tend to avoid dry deserts and humid rainforests. Today, most populations are isolated and fragmented and have fewer than 100 individuals.

The National Geographic Society gives supports research and conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the African wild dog. Help support our efforts by donating today.

Donate

Hunting and habitat loss are major threats to the African wild dog. In many areas, you can help by volunteering with local organizations that conduct patrols and surveys to monitor protected areas and species.

Photo Ark

Giant Anteater


Myrmecophaga tridactyla


Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas, United States


Vulnerable

 


Unknown


At least 30% over the past ten years

The giant anteater is the biggest of four existing anteater species. It has formidable claws and a long sticky tongue used for catching termites and ants.

The National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowship is supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts to better understand and protect the giant anteater. Help support efforts like these by donating today.

Donate

The giant anteater faces threats to its habitat from human activity. Help reduce roadkill incidents by taking caution when you drive at night, and be sure to contain fires at campsites to prevent wildfires that cause habitat destruction.

Photo Ark

Coquerel’s Sifaka


Propithecus coquereli


Houston Zoo in Houston, Texas, United States


Endangered

 


Fewer than 200,000


More than 50% over the last 50 years

Unlike any other lemur, sifakas don't walk on the ground but instead hop sideways. When two sifakas meet, they greet each other by rubbing their noses together.

The National Geographic Society gives grants to fund research and conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the Coquerel’s sifaka. Help support our efforts by donating today.

Donate

Like many species, sifakas are rapidly losing their habitat. In many areas, you can volunteer with local organizations that conduct patrols and surveys to monitor protected areas and species.

Photo Ark

Tasmanian Devil


Sarcophilus harrisii


Taronga Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland, Australia


Endangered

 


Fewer than 25,000


More than 60% in the last 10 years

Did you know: 400 years ago, the Tasmanian devil could be found throughout Australia, but now can only be found in the wild on Maria Island, Robbins Island and the island of of Tasmania. Habitat loss threats to the Tasmanian devil are compounded by the spread of the highly contagious Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD).

The National Geographic Society supports research and conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the Tasmanian devil. Help support our efforts by donating today.

Donate

Cars are a major threat to Tasmanian devils, who frequently get hit while searching for food. You can help reduce roadkill by not throwing food out of car windows and slowing down after dark.

Photo Ark

Sumatran Rhino


Dicerorhinus sumatrensis


White Oak Conservatory in Yulee, Florida, United States


Critically Endangered

 


Fewer than 100


Until the early 1990s, rate of decline was 50% per decade

The Sumatran rhino is the smallest of all rhino species and is the only asian rhino with two horns. It has long dark hairs covering its body and is known as the “singing rhino” because it is the most vocal of all rhino species.

The National Geographic Society supports research and conservation efforts to protect endangered species like the Sumatran rhino. Help support our efforts by donating today.

Donate

This Sumatran rhino from the National Geographic Photo Ark was born at the Cincinnati Zoo. For many species, captive breeding programs are their only chance left for survival. Take our pledge to learn more about efforts to save the Sumatran rhino and how you can help support them.

Picture of Joel Sartore

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTOGRAPHER JOEL SARTORE

“I want people to care, to fall in love, and to take action.”

Photo Ark founder and National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, he has completed intimate portraits of more than 8,000 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 also intimate and moving. 

Learn more about Joel Sartore

 

Building the Ark


 

Species to Date

 

 

In his quest to document our world’s astonishing diversity, Joel has taken portraits of 8,000 species — and counting! He’s over half way to his goal of documenting all of the approximately 12,000 species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries.

Follow Photo Ark

Keep up with Photo Ark and Joel Sartore by following the project on Facebook and Instagram.


 

PHOTOS BY JOEL SARTORE/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK