conservation

Posts tagged
with conservation



Photography Science

Billions of Fireflies Light Up an Indian Wildlife Reserve in Rare Footage Captured by Sriram Murali

May 23, 2022

Kate Mothes

In many parts of the world, a warm summer evening sets the stage for a familiar sight: the lightning bug. Through a phenomenon called bioluminescence, these winged beetles generate chemical reactions in a part of their abdomen known as the lantern to produce flickers of light. Of more than 2,000 species found throughout the world, only a handful coordinate their flashes into patterns and are known as synchronous fireflies. Filmmaker Sriram Murali captured a rare gathering of billions of these insects at the Anamalai Tiger Reserve in western Tamil Nadu, India.

Through a combination of moving image and time-lapse photography, Murali recorded countless specimens amidst the trees as they produce glowing pulses, which relay across the forest in expansive, wave-like signals. The color, brightness, and length of the light emitted is specific to each species, and as a part of the insects’ mating display, it helps males and females to recognize one another. Darkness is a necessary ingredient in the success of this ritual.

For the past ten years, Murali has been working to raise awareness of light pollution through a series of documentaries. Focusing on the reserve and its nighttime fauna, he hopes to highlight the significant role that darkness plays in the natural world. He has been collaborating with scientists and forest officials at the wildlife reserve as part of a project spearheaded by Deputy Director M.G. Ganesan to study the ecology of the park and identify the different species of firefly present there.

You can find more of Murali’s films on Vimeo and on his website and also follow his updates on Instagram. (via Petapixel)

 

 

 



Documentary Science

A Conservationist Teaches Geese to Use Safer Migration Routes by Flying With Them Across Europe

May 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Back in 1995, Christian Moullec embarked on his first migration alongside a flock of lesser white-fronted geese that he intended to introduce to Sweden. He flew an adapted delta plane alongside the birds, which were threatened after being overhunted, and protect them on their journey. This initial mission quickly morphed into a now decades-long project of training avian populations to utilize more secure paths as they travel across Europe, ensuring that the already dwindled species would survive the trek and be able to reproduce.

English YouTuber and educator Tom Scott (previously) joins Moullec on one of the flights above Southern France as they glide in a microlight aircraft just inches from the animals—Scott is so close that he’s able to touch goose’s tail feathers. Reaching this level of intimacy takes dedication and immersion in the flock, Moullec shares, saying that he raises the birds, sleeps with them, and even bathes in the pond on his property. This establishes trust and is essential as they define their routes, which sometimes traverse thousands of kilometers each day. “I’m not the one who teaches the birds to fly with me,” Moullec shares. “I’ve been flying with birds for 27 years, and they taught me how to fly with them.”

In addition to his conservation-oriented flights, Moullec offers passenger trips for those interested in joining the flock, and you can find more about his work on his site. (via The Kids Should See This)

 

 

 



Photography

Over 100 Young Crocodiles Find Refuge on Their Father’s Back in India’s Chambal River

May 17, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images © Dhritiman Mukherjee, shared with permission

The gharial, a large crocodile with a distinctive bulge on its snout, is critically endangered in the wild, with researchers counting only a few hundred individuals in 2017. Living primarily in the rivers of Nepal and India, the scaly reptiles saw a rapid decline since the 1930s due to overfishing and loss of habitats from sand mining and dams, and biologists estimate the population has dwindled to only two percent. Thanks to the National Chambal Sanctuary, though, which is home to a substantial group of gharial, the species is growing.

Photographer and conservationist Dhritiman Mukherjee visited the enclave southeast of New Dehli a few years ago where he captured striking images of a father swimming through the murky river with more than 100 young clinging to his back. Measuring 16 to 17 feet long, the male likely was carrying the offspring from 7 to 8 female gharials, which lay anywhere from 20 to 95 eggs each year. “Some breeding programs [and rerelease in the wild] have taken place in the Chambal. So, that’s why I selected the subject so that it gets attention from policymakers or concerned people,” Mukherjee told PetaPixel.

The Kolkata-based photographer often travels to document wildlife around the world and is headed back to the sanctuary this month. You can stay up-to-date with his work on his site and Instagram.

 

 

 



Photography

Origins: Striking Photos Document the Sights of Contemporary Conservation Efforts

September 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Ice Waterfall” by Paul Nicklen. All images courtesy of Hilton Asmus Contemporary, shared with permission

Spanning the icy downpours of the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard to the intimate portraits of the people of Papua New Guinea, the profound photographs that comprise an exhibition at Hilton Asmus Contemporary in Chicago are a perceptive consideration of the issues at the center of today’s conservation efforts. Titled Origins, the show brings together the work of artists and marine biologists Cristina Mittermeier and Paul Nicklen, who pair their creative practices with their work at the nonprofit Sea Legacy.

Co-founded by the duo in 2014, the organization is dedicated to preserving the oceans, using “their inspiring imagery to convert apathy into action and to drive powerful conservation wins across the globe,” a statement reads. A testament to the landscapes and ecologies worth preserving, the stunning photos document global crises and the tender, joyful moments of people around the world, and their subjects range from a Lisu woman in China’s Yunnan Province carrying her pet duck to the crumbling icebergs of Antarctica.

Origins is up through October 2 both virtually and in-person at the Bridgeport gallery. You can find more from Mittermeier and Nicklen on Instagram.

 

“Bubblegum” by Cristina Mittermeier

“Lady with the Goose II” by Cristina Mittermeier

“Megaptera” by Paul Nicklen

“Adrift” by Cristina Mittermeier

“Frozen Highway” by Paul Nicklen

“Alone Together” by Cristina Mittermeier

“Leap Of Faith” by Cristina Mittermeier

 

 



Art Illustration

Delicate Watercolor Landscapes Embodied by South African Wildlife

November 27, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

South Africa-based artist Sujay Sanan’s series A Place I Know documents landscapes across the Western Cape, embedding the spaces inside animals that inhabit each. Sanan grew up in the Himalayas, and his new works are a way to explore his new surroundings, while also bringing attention to the increasing climate change and its effects on wildlife.

“My works document landscapes seen through the species that inhabit them,” he explains. “Some of the places I have painted are familiar and close to where I live, while in others I have found myself as a momentary visitor. While these works document what I fear might be lost, they are also filled with optimism.” You can see more of Sanan’s watercolor paintings on his website and Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Design

Discarded Fishing Nets and Other Ocean Trash Repurposed Into Running Shoes

June 8, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

AdidasxParley_01

Image via Adidas

Stitched with thread produced from discarded fishing nets, Adidas‘ newest shoes are a collaboration with the ocean activist collective and company Parley for the Oceans. The idea for the shoe was hatched last year, but was more of a idealistic prototype than a ready-to-wear option for the masses. Today however, Adidas is releasing fifty pairs of the sneaker, a shoe composed of more than 16 old plastic bottles and 13 grams of gill nets.

This limited number of pairs is due to the difficult task of taking the collected trash and spinning it into fiber suitable for high performance shoes. Plastic bottles are relatively easy to transform into a useable material, but when it comes to the gill nets (which emit the smell of rotting fish) the task is a bit more difficult. Not only is the smell difficult to scrub from the nets, but the nylon is extra tough and requires being ground into a powder before it can be reformed into a material fit for the Adidas sneaker.

To collect these environmentally damaging materials, Parley partners with small countries that have large ties to marine pollution—locations like the Maldives, Grenada, and Jamaica. After partnering, Parley team members help clean up fisheries and other oceanside spots while teaching locals alternatives to using plastic in their businesses. The materials collected by Parley are then distributed not only to Adidas, but also institutions such as Parsons School of Design, which might help change the way new generations of designers think about incorporating these materials into future designs.

An announcement will be made soon on how to win one of the 50 released pairs of the collaborative shoe on Adidas’ Instagram.

AdidasxParley_07

Image via Adidas

AdidasxParley_06

Image via Adidas

AdidasxParley_08

Image via Adidas

AdidasxParley_04

Image via Adidas

AdidasxParley_03

Image via Adidas

AdidasxParley_02

Image via Adidas

AdidasxParley_05

photo credit: Giacomo Giorigi / Sea Shepherd Global