SPECIES TO DATE
The National Geographic Photo Ark uses the power of photography to inspire people to help protect at-risk species before it’s too late. Explorer, photographer, and founder of the Photo Ark Joel Sartore has taken portraits of 15,000 species — and counting — in his quest to document our world’s astonishing biodiversity! He’s over half way to his goal of documenting all of the approximately 20,000 species living in the world’s zoos, aquariums, and wildlife sanctuaries.
Explore all the species in the National Geographic Photo Ark at joelsartore.com/photo-ark.
STORIES OF IMPACT
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PHOTO ARK FEATURED ON 60 MINUTES
MAKING AN IMPACT
WHAT WE'RE DOING
MAKING AN IMPACT
Protecting Species Through the Power of Photography
CREATING PORTRAITS OF HOPE
Using solid black and white backgrounds to create unique portraits, the Photo Ark makes each animal equal––so that a mouse appears just as large and important as an elephant––and allows people to look deeply into the eyes of each animal and see they are important and so worthy of protection.
PROTECTING SPECIES AT RISK
To help save wildlife and sound the alarm for lesser-known species at risk, we partnered with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to create the National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships. The program provides funding, training, and capacity development to on-the-ground conservationists working to bring the most at-risk species featured in Photo Ark back from the verge of extinction. Learn More About the Fellows
INSPIRING LEARNING AND ACTION
The National Geographic Photo Ark is teaching people of all ages about our planet’s amazing biodiversity and fostering a real human connection to Earth’s animals. The project engages students in the classroom through free educational materials and activities, and inspires the public through special exhibitions and events around the world. An interactive digital experience allows learners to explore each animal in the collection and share information about endangered species with their friends.
RAISING AWARENESS THROUGH EXHIBITIONS
Museums and institutions around the world are hosting Photo Ark exhibitions to raise awareness for many species in need of greater conservation. Each exhibition features large-format prints, as well as a grid of many more images to highlight the range of species in the Photo Ark.
WHY IT MATTERS
WHY IT MATTERS
SOUNDING THE ALARM FOR AT-RISK SPECIES, ONE PHOTOGRAPH AT A TIME
The interaction between animals and their environments are critical for maintaining a healthy planet that we call home. But for many species, time is running out. When you remove one, it affects us all. That’s why National Geographic, along with Explorer Joel Sartore, is dedicated to finding solutions to protect them.
We’re documenting every species in human care to inspire people to care and help protect these animals. Creating intimate portraits of an estimated 20,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates serves as an important record of each animal’s existence, and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them.
“IT’S THE EYE CONTACT THAT MOVES PEOPLE. IT ENGAGES FEELINGS OF COMPASSION AND A DESIRE TO HELP.”
Explorer, photographer, and founder of Photo Ark
PROTECTING AT-RISK SPECIES
LEARN WITH PHOTO ARK
Use the resources on this page to teach about the amazing animals in the Photo Ark, highlight the importance of storytelling in conservation, and empower students to spread the word about species extinction.
Use these activities to highlight the importance of conservation and storytelling.
Highlight the relationship between habitat and animal conservation in this activity for grades 3-5.
Empower students to develop their own storytelling styles, and emphasize the role of writing and photography in conservation. Meant for grades 6-8.
Introduce students to the factors and consequences of widespread amphibian decline with this activity from Explorer magazine for grades 3-5.
PHOTO ARK & GOOGLE EARTH
Go behind the scenes and learn more about the amazing species in the Photo Ark with this interactive Google Earth Voyager Story.
Museums and institutions around the world are hosting Photo Ark exhibitions to raise awareness for many species in need of greater conservation. Each exhibition will feature large-format prints, as well as a grid of many more images to highlight the range of species in the Photo Ark. Visitors are encouraged to take selfies with these impressive portraits to show their support.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
HELP BUILD THE PHOTO ARK
Thousands of species are at risk and time is running out. Join National Geographic Explorer Joel Sartore as he leads the Photo Ark project to document our planet’s biodiversity and find innovative solutions to help save threatened species and protect their critical habitats.
HELP US SAVE WILDLIFE
IN YOUR HOME
Consider changing your daily habits to preserve natural resources—overuse can negatively impact wildlife. Avoid single-use plastics, eat less meat and educate your friends and family about the importance of protecting the planet.
IN YOUR BACKYARD
Look for alternatives to putting chemicals on your lawn, which poison the soil, air, and water. Dedicate your home and/or office landscaping to native plants in order to save pollinating insects, which play a crucial role in producing fruits and vegetables.
IN YOUR COMMUNITY
Learn about species that are native to where you live and help them thrive by preserving and restoring their habitats. Explore local green spaces and consider volunteer opportunities with wildlife rehabilitation efforts in your community.
FOLLOW PHOTO ARK
Keep up with Photo Ark and Joel Sartore by following the project on Facebook and Instagram.