You may not have heard, but 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity. That's why I am making a special effort this year to support the work of Arkive - a group in the UK that is creating an online educational database of endangered species. For several years, I have provided them pictures - at no charge - of many rare and endangered species from my collection. They are still looking hard to find pictures of many species that are not big and sexy enough - unlike, say, tigers and polar bears - to attract photographers.
To find out more, go to ARKIVE.
Photographers have a significant role to play in the conservation of vanishing species, especially animals whose stories are rarely, if ever, told. Case in point : this little shrimp -- confined to a single tidepool, on a single island in the mid-Atlantic -- had never been photographed before, and gave conservationists a vital tool in trying to protect it. A simple picture but an important one, which gives me considerable satisfaction.
This is a big subject , one that I will return to in future. I simply want to encourage photographers to go beyond shooting the same handful of popular well-known animals - and start looking for animals whose stories are still untold. There is almost certainly an endangered species in your neighborhood; if you can get the best pictures ever taken of that animal - obscure or familiar - you could make a real impact in ensuring its survival. That is photography's special power.