|Temperate Rainforest, Australia|
Since my Antarctica trip has suddenly been cancelled, and I have been given a clean bill of health, I have radically changed my plans. I leave Friday for Australia - a trip that I had thought to do later in the year, but suddenly have time to do now. My specific goal is a bit hush-hush, but I am continuing work with several endangered species and have heard about a rare opportunity I can't pass up. Is that tantalizing enough?
For the past few years, I have been concentrating on little-known, or rarely-photographed endangered animals, hoping to tell their stories and make a difference in their survival. As it turns out, this requires a great deal of research, time spent digging around the internet trying to find animals of interest that have been largely ignored by photographers. However, I have a couple of essential sources:
ARKIVE: I have probably mentioned this website before, but it aims to be a digital encyclopedia of life on earth, with particular emphasis on endangered plants and animals. For me, this searchable website is a godsend : providing information on conservation status, locations and with references to scientists working in the field. Because I applaud what they are doing, I have - from the very start - contributed pictures to their archive at no cost. (I have to be somewhat sparing with my gifts of photography: I have to stay in business to be able to continue doing what I do, and am bombarded with requests for free images every day. But Arkive is different : I give them anything they want...)
IUCN Redlist: The International Union for the Conservation of Nature maintains the "Red List," a carefully researched database of endangered species. Want information on an obscure fish? Chances are you'll find it here - or on Arkive. Both websites are invaluable to me. And together they produce a special "Species of the Day" page, featuring details on a different animal (or plant) every day of the year. Check it out - and learn about an animal you never knew existed.
Anyhow, I hope to come back from Australia in early December with some new additions for the Arkive collection - and hopefully, a story worth telling.