#PhotographyForGood to help celebrate World Wildlife Day

“Sustaining all life on Earth” is this year’s theme for World Wildlife Day. Today is an excellent opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of fauna and flora while drawing attention to the damaging human activities that affect wildlife - loss of habitat, industrialized farming, commercial development and poaching, amongst many others. Wildlife today faces many different challenges, including the threat of extinction, but ‘raising awareness’ is challenging in itself.

“The actions taken by each of us will determine the fate of the world’s wildlife.” — (past) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

"Little Blue Penguin" by Karen Miller

We, photographers, have a great tool right in our hands and pockets that we can and should use to help make a difference. All kinds of wildlife species we photograph today may become extinct and certainly less populous in even a few years. So it is important to not just take photos and keep them on your hard drive, but publish them and tell the story behind the photo - sharing their importance and what we can do to protect even a little of our local wildlife.

At Excio Photo Community we are extremely fortunate to have members passionate about the reason behind the photos they take, and not about the number of likes they get. Before we dive in to explore some of the photographs below, here’s a reminder of some things we can all do today and pretty much every day - as wildlife conservation, protection and raising awareness doesn’t start and stop in 24 hours.

  • Grab your camera and visit a wildlife reserve or ZOO. New Zealand is doing an amazing job at preserving wildlife, parks and sanctuaries so many of us literally have a reserve at our doorstep. But no matter where you live in the world – you can use your camera to bring an issue to public attention or simply tell a story for the younger generations. Take photos of plants or animals you see and find out what they are and what role they play in biodiversity – why are they important? For plants there is a great apps like PictureThis or LeafSnap that can help you with identification so you can describe your photo..

  • As a photographer, always behave responsibly when out there taking photographs. Not causing harm to anything around you. Let’s face it - It is not a good practice to pick up flowers or capture birds/animals just for the sake of taking photos!

  • Follow the example set by Excio community members, Fairlie Atkinson, Zhanna, Julie Lapsley Miller and others, and donate your wildlife photography to your local wildlife park or reserve, like Staglands and Nga Manu Reserve. If you share your photo on social media make sure to tag the organisation so they can re-share your post.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein

"What if..." by Peter Laurenson

"An Orangutan, Melbourne Zoo. He looked wistful, or perhaps just bored. While zoos provide us with easy opportunities to see wildlife up close they also can accentuate how we have made these animals prisoners. There are arguments for and against, but this image makes me wish there were no need or justification for any zoo, anywhere."

"Sanctuary for animals" by Maria Ligaya Photography

""Rescue, Recover and Reintroduce (whenever possible animals that arrive wounded, seized or are handed over to the center"⁣ -⁣ This is one of the Main objective of Guira Oga, an Animal Sanctuary in Puerto Iguazu, Misiones Province in Argentina. ⁣ ⁣ ⁣ We visited this sanctuary to pay a get-well-soon visit to the recovering animals at Guiraoga. The sanctuary, located near the famous Iguazu Falls, nurses a range of wounded animals back to health, then prepares them for re-entry into the wild. - You can see the adorable animals in their natural habitat only on a guided tour around the sanctuary to protect them, which might be available in English, depending on your guide."

"Tui" by Peter McIlroy

"Fiordland Crested Penguin" by Kim Free

"New Zealand Fur seal or Kekeno pup" by Vandy Pollard

"Bull Tahr" by Andre V D Berg

"Monkey Love" by Lynn Fothergill

"South Island Robin" by Rochelle Marshall

"Basking in the sun" by Dionne Solly

"One of the big five" by Red Nose

"The Kea" by Karen Miller

"Red billed Hornbill aka Zazu" by Red Nose

"Feeding time" by Zhanna

"Dreaming big (takahe)" by Judi Lapsley Miller