What Is The Photo Ark?

The Photo Ark project aims to photograph over 12,000 species.
The Photo Ark project aims to photograph over 12,000 species.

The Photo Ark is a one man’s attempt to document and get people to care for all the endangered species in the world by having their photos taken. Since it started, the Photo Ark project has documented more than 8,485 endangered species. Joel Sartore the Photo Ark founder and a National Geographic photographer, in association with the National Geographic, aims to document 12,000 species which live in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries around the world. Sartore seeks to use the extinction of wildlife species as a wake up call and inspire people to act through knowledge of the threats and help in the conservation of the wildlife.

Beginning the Photo Ark

Joel Sartore started the Photo Ark project in 2005 after his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He realized that year the importance of life and how short life can be and decided to get people to care about life especially of wildlife because by the next century half of all species could be lost. The extinction could affect human beings because we need wildlife to survive as each of them contributes to nature in their special way. Joel Sartore calculated it will take him 25 years or more to be able to document all the endangered species and help save most of them.

Involvement of the National Geographic

The National Geographic joined Joel Sartore after realizing his efforts and passion in protecting the world’s endangered animals, and together they aim at documenting the 12,000 species by photos and also by video coverage. The video coverage will enable even more people to view and know the endangered species all over the world.

Importance of the Photo Ark Project

Since Joel Sartore started the project, it has been some years down the line, and already several of the species have gone extinct. The Photo Ark makes every animal important by taking their shots in the same background, which could be white or black. This approach makes a leopard as important as a chameleon hence people care for one the same way as they care for the other. The Photo Ark project also gives people the opportunity to participate by purchasing a Photo Ark book and donating to the project in the process.

Species At Risk

From the Sifaka in Madagascar to the marsh rabbit in the Florida Keys, Joel Sartore has documented thousands of species facing the threat of extinction. Such animals include the Iberian lynx in Spain which is one of the rarest cat on earth, cross river gorilla in Cameroon one of the world’s rarest great ape, and the Florida panther which is listed as critically endangered cougar. The Photo Ark project continues documenting endangered species in the world and gives people an open option to care about them.


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