Mark your calendar. Friday, May 20th marks the 6th year of national Endangered Species Day. This day presents an opportunity to really focus on the importance of protecting plant and animal life. From the downright adorable to the wonderfully weird, each species has a place and purpose on our planet. Thousands of plant and animal species across the world are endangered and on the brink of extinction. Over the years, the Endangered Species Act has provided a much needed helping hand to our natural neighbors.
America enacted the Endangered Species Act in 1973, one of dozens of U.S. environmental laws that were passed in the 1970s. The Act was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction – to protect and nurture populations back to full health. It is not a perfect law but it has been hugely successful to many species on the brink. Critical habitats are given a fighting chance under the Act too. Millions of acres of ancient forests, wild beaches, open meadows and sparkling rivers – treasured places that would have otherwise been long since logged out, paved over or built up had it not been for the Endangered Species Act.
Put endangered species and conservation groups in the forefront of your mind this month. Extinction is forever. Protecting our world’s disappearing wildlife and open spaces is a responsibility that needs our focus, compassion and action.
Which endangered species speaks to your heart the most? Let us know by sharing the species you are most passionate about my commenting below.
Have you happened across our new Endangered Species Chocolate ads yet? You’d remember if you did because they are STELLAR! (Me, biased? Never!) The animal photography featured in our “Indulge in a Cause” ads was captured by the camera of Eric Isselée. We were not only drawn to the powerful presence of his images, we were also captivated by his philanthopic mission and compassionate approach.
Eric Isselée’s project, Life on White, aims to document Earth’s endangered animals and insects. Over the past four years, his series of wildlife set against pure white backgrounds has grown to over 10,000 photos of over 450 animal species. Images this special shine a spotlight on these species, thereby raising their public profile and ultimately, helping to ensure their conservation. In addition to capturing images for future generations, Life on White donates generously to animal charities and sanctuaries.
Eric’s team travels worldwide to get their shots. The team insists on the animals being photographed in their own environment (mostly sanctuaries and zoos) so animals don’t suffer any undue stress linked to transport or unknown environments. You can watch for yourself by clicking on Life on White’s “Making Of…” videos. Imagine patiently waiting 72+ hours for a peacock to strut his stuff for your lens. Or clicking away as mischievous monkeys cavort across your portable white backdrop.
This work results in stunning photos that show each animal’s beauty, emotion and personality. Images this vivid and artistic bond the viewer to the animal and create compassion. We love supporting and sharing this work.
Name some of your favorite wildlife/conservation photographers. Have you ever photographed wildlife – what challenges did you face? Share what inspires you visually by commenting below.
Some stories just get inside your head and don’t let go. African Wildlife Foundation’s January announcement of the birth of two white rhinos really grabbed me. Maybe it was the incredibly cute baby calf photo album on Facebook or perhaps I’ve just read the inside of our Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Toffee Rhino Bar wrapper one too many times. In any case, I was compelled to learn more.
Starting the New Year off on a bright note, two white rhino calves were born in Mosi-Oa-Tunya Park, an incredibly beautiful Zambian widlife refuge. African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) assisted in placing the mothers in the park over a year ago – after all but one of Zambia’s rhinos were killed by poachers. The calves and their mothers are currently under heavy guard by the Zambia Wildlife Authority with support from AWF. When you look at the statistics, it is clear why this protection is imperative:
- 2007 – 13 rhinos killed
- 2008 – 83 rhinos killed
- 2009 – 122 rhinos killed
- 2010 – 333 rhinos killed (Source: Care2)
The disturbing rise in poaching is attributed to increased demand for rhino horn, which has long been prized as an ingredient in traditional Asian medicine. The numbers in the chart above astound and dishearten me. I think that’s why the story of the baby rhino births grabbed me and wouldn’t let go – it’s a reminder that conservation can overcome the senseless damage humans inflict on endangered populations.
What gives you hope?
THE TWEET FEED
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