Renowned Photographer Joel Sartore Travels the Globe to Create the Photo Ark

PBS' RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark profiles renowned National Geographic photographer, author and conservationist Joel Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves and more for his long-running

PBS’ RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark profiles renowned National Geographic photographer, author and conservationist Joel Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves and more for his long-running “Photo Ark” project. 
PBS' RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark profiles renowned National Geographic photographer, author and conservationist Joel Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves and more for his long-running

Episode 2 – Premieres Tuesday, July 25 at 9/8C
Joel will go anywhere to add another rare species to the Photo Ark. He travels to Spain to photograph the Iberian lynx, once the rarest cat in the world. He gets a rare look inside a breeding center that teaches lynx how to hunt their main food source: rabbits. But scientists working in China might be too late in saving the Yangtze giant softshell turtle. With only three left in the world, Joel witnesses an attempt to artificially inseminate the last known female and keep this species from going extinct.

Joel will go anywhere to add another rare species to the Photo Ark. He travels to Spain to photograph the Iberian lynx, once the rarest cat in the world. He gets a rare look inside a breeding center that teaches lynx how to hunt their main food source: rabbits. But scientists working in China might be too late in saving the Yangtze giant softshell turtle. With only three left in the world, Joel witnesses an attempt to artificially inseminate the last known female and keep this species from going extinct.
Joel hates hiking, but in Cameroon, he has the opportunity to glimpse the Cross River gorilla in the wild. Little is known about the rarest great ape in the world and he gets close enough to nap in its nest. But the highlight of the trek is extracting beetles from cow dung – because every creature counts in the Photo Ark.

Press Release:

BOSTON, MA [June 28, 2017] – Renowned National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is a natural-born storyteller. His Photo Ark project is a digital “collection” of the world’s mammals, fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles and insects, and the focus of RARE-Creatures of the Photo Ark. This captivating new three-part series, produced by WGBH Boston and premiering on PBS in Summer 2017, follows Sartore as he documents threatened species at zoos, in nature preserves, and more. Throughout RARE, scientists and naturalists reveal surprising and important information about why ensuring the future of these animals is so critical. Follow Sartore’s adventures at #RarePBS.

Author, conservationist and National Geographic Fellow, Sartore has traveled to nearly 40 countries to photograph 6,395 species for the Photo Ark to date, including 576 amphibians, 1,839 birds, 716 fish, 1,123 invertebrates, 896 mammals, and 1,245 reptiles in captivity. When complete the Photo Ark will be one of the most comprehensive records of the world’s biodiversity. Through RARE, audiences can journey with Sartore across the globe—to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania—to chronicle his experiences
RARE-Creatures of the Photo Ark premieres on consecutive Tuesdays—on July 18, July 25 and August 1—at 9 pm ET/8c on PBS.

Author, conservationist and National Geographic Fellow, Sartore has traveled to nearly 40 countries to photograph 6,395 species for the Photo Ark to date, including 576 amphibians, 1,839 birds, 716 fish, 1,123 invertebrates, 896 mammals, and 1,245 reptiles in captivity. When complete the Photo Ark will be one of the most comprehensive records of the world’s biodiversity. Through RARE, audiences can journey with Sartore across the globe—to Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania—to chronicle his experiences. 

“Viewers will see the spectacular variety and beauty of these animals, large and small, whose lives are intertwined with ours,” said John Bredar, executive producer of RARE and VP of National Programming for WGBH. “The loss of biodiversity exacts a toll on all our lives.” 

But there are also losses: at the Dvur Kralove Zoo near Prague, in one of RARE’s most emotional moments, Sartore’s camera records a northern white rhino—a very old female and, at the time, one of only five left in the world. Now, only three remain.
In the premiere episode of RARE, prankish semi-habituated lemurs playfully crawl over Sartore at Madagascar’s Lemur Island rehab center, during one of his easiest photography shoots. Others are more challenging: as no amount of tasty, tempting raw carrots can persuade a 500-pound, 150-year-old giant tortoise to stand on his mark or get ready for his close-up. Likewise, in Florida, a photo of an elusive bunny taking refuge near an active U.S. Navy airstrip has taken four years to procure for the Photo Ark. It’s all in a day’s work….

Sartore knows he is in a race against time. Sometimes he is able to photograph 30 to 40 species in a few days. Others are disappearing before he can get to them. RARE looks at factors driving extinction, including deforestation, rising sea levels, invasive species, pollution and human development, all impacting creatures essential to the world’s ecosystems.

“RARE provides audiences the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of an exceptional photographer with an extraordinary mission. We share Joel’s goal that through his photography and these films, people will be inspired to care while there is time,” says Laurie Donnelly, executive producer of RARE and director of Lifestyle Programming at WGBH, where she has overseen series such as I’ll Have What Phil’s Having and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler. 

In the second hour, Sartore travels around the globe in pursuit of some of the rarest and most vulnerable creatures on earth—trying to capture these species for the Photo Ark before they go extinct. In China, he goes in search of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle, with just three left on the planet, and the South China tiger, which has not been seen in the wild for more than 30 years. In Spain, he photographs one of the rarest small cats, the Iberian lynx, whose numbers fell to fewer than a hundred 15 years ago, then he heads to Africa to the mountain rainforest of Cameroon to accompany scientists working on the frontlines to save the cross river gorilla, the rarest gorilla on earth.

In RARE’s final episode, Sartore treks up a mountain in New Zealand to photograph the rowi kiwi, accompanying a naturalist to rescue its egg successfully. Without this intervention, there is only a five percent chance of survivability for this rare flightless bird. 

But there are also losses: at the Dvur Kralove Zoo near Prague, in one of RARE’s most emotional moments, Sartore’s camera records a northern white rhino—a very old female and, at the time, one of only five left in the world. Now, only three remain.

Sartore likes photographing the smallest creatures for the Photo Ark because they’re often more important to the health of an ecosystem than the big ones, like the naked mole rat: blind, buck-toothed and hairless, it is also cancer-resistant—and scientists are researching why. And he has seen how photos can lead to change. His images of parrots in South America and koalas in Australia prompted local governments to protect them. In the U.S., coverage of the Photo Ark has helped to save the Florida grasshopper sparrow and the Salt Creek tiger beetle.  “Fifty percent of all animals are threatened with extinction, and it’s folly to think we can drive half of everything else to extinction but that people will be just fine,” says Sartore. “That’s why I created what’s now called the National Geographic Photo Ark. I hope seeing the images fills people with wonder and inspires them to want to protect these species.”
Sartore likes photographing the smallest creatures for the Photo Ark because they’re often more important to the health of an ecosystem than the big ones, like the naked mole rat: blind, buck-toothed and hairless, it is also cancer-resistant—and scientists are researching why. And he has seen how photos can lead to change. His images of parrots in South America and koalas in Australia prompted local governments to protect them. In the U.S., coverage of the Photo Ark has helped to save the Florida grasshopper sparrow and the Salt Creek tiger beetle.

“Fifty percent of all animals are threatened with extinction, and it’s folly to think we can drive half of everything else to extinction but that people will be just fine,” says Sartore. “That’s why I created what’s now called the National Geographic Photo Ark. I hope seeing the images fills people with wonder and inspires them to want to protect these species.”

RARE is premiering in conjunction with an ongoing initiative by National Geographic, which is showcasing the Photo Ark project throughout 2017 on multiple platforms, including exhibitions around the world, two new books and digital features. Learn more at NatGeoPhotoArk.org.

RARE—Creatures of the Photo Ark is a production of WGBH Boston and So World Media, LLC in association with National Geographic Channels. Executive producers are John Bredar and Laurie Donnelly. Series producer/writer: Stella Cha. Producer/director: Chun-Wei Yi. RARE is made possible with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Kendeda Fund, the Candis J. Stern Foundation and public television viewers.
RARE – Creatures of the Photo Ark is part of “PBS Summer of Adventure,” taking viewers and their families on an adventure around the world this season. The lineup of history, science and natural history programming includes the six-part series THE STORY OF CHINA, an exploration of China’s 4,000-year history featuring Michael Wood beginning June 20. The five-part program BIG PACIFIC, starting June 21, reveals the Pacific Ocean’s most guarded secrets. Following BIG PACIFIC on June 21, GREAT YELLOWSTONE THAW is a three-part series showcasing the stories of different animal families as they attempt to survive the toughest spring on Earth. On July 12, the three-part NATURE’S GREAT RACE explores the most astounding migrations on earth. WEEKEND IN HAVANA is a one-hour walking tour through Cuba on July 18. In WILD ALASKA LIVE, airing live over three nights beginning July 23, witness a must-see natural spectacle as thousands of the world’s wildest animals gather to take part in Alaska’s amazing summer feast. 

On August 2, IRELAND’S WILD COAST takes viewers on a one-hour journey along the island’s rugged Atlantic coast. Summer of Adventure will also include PBS KIDS programming, featuring three new one-hour specials: NATURE CAT: OCEAN COMMOTION (premieres June 19), WILD KRATTS ALASKA: HERO’S JOURNEY (premieres Monday, July 24.) and READY JET GO!: BACK TO BORTRON 7 (premieres August 14).

Sources: WGBH Boston  hearing or visual impairments. More info at , PBS

Previews & Scenes/Animals & Locations in episode: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rare/episode/episode-2/

Episode 3 (series finale)- Premieres Tuesday, August 1 at 9/8c
In his 25 years as a National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore has learned to never ignore the smaller creatures in our midst. Joel gets us up close with colorful and charismatic insects with faces and features usually found in sci-fi flicks, because “they help make the world go ‘round.” Joel also goes in search of larger animals. In the Czech Republic and in one of the series’ most poignant moments, Joel boards the rarest rhinoceros in the world onto the Photo Ark. Nabiré is one of only five of northern white rhinos left on the planet and it may be too late for her kind.

Joel’s got one more hike-he’d-rather-not-hike in him, this time in New Zealand where he tags along on a Rowi kiwi egg rescue. By taking and hatching these enormous kiwi eggs, scientists give these birds a fighting chance against unnatural predators. If they didn’t rescue the eggs, the species would go extinct.

Previews & Scenes/Animals & Locations in episode: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rare/episode/episode-3/

Another Reason to Compost: Reducing Landfill Dependency

While many people compost to help their gardens thrive, composting minimizes the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. According the the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we dispose of more than 250 million tons of trash a year. Of those, only 34.1 percent of it was recycled or composted, a figure which could be much higher if we make an effort to lessen the burden on landfills

Landfills Are Filling Up

The number of usable landfills in the United States has sharply declined in the past few decades. In a 2005 report on municipal solid waste generation, the EPA noted that there were 7,924 landfills in 1988, yet only 1,654 in 2005. One of the most-notable landfill closures was Fresh Kills in New York. Once the world’s largest landfill, it was closed in 2001 after being filled with 53 years worth of garbage from the largest U.S. city, according to the Staten Island Advance.

While many landfills are closed when they are full, others are expanded. In Delaware, an expansion of the Cherry Island landfill was recently completed, adding 20.7 million cubic yards in capacity, as noted in a press release from Sevenson Environmental, the environmental remediation company that completed the expansion. The expansion “extended the life of the landfill by about 20 years,” according to the CEO of Sevenson Environmental, Michael Elia.

landfillThe EPA estimates that each American generates around 4.43 pounds of municipal solid waste per day. The agency defines municipal solid waste as any of the everyday items you routinely throw away, including everything from grass clippings and food scraps to clothing, newspapers, bottles and paint. Given the ever-growing U.S. population, we must look to alternative methods to dispose of waste instead of tossing everything in landfills.

Is Composting the Answer?

San Francisco residents have proven that composting can be the answer, especially when paired with recycling. A recent PBS interview with San Francisco mayor Ed Lee explained how the city has been able to divert more than 80 percent of their trash from landfills by legally requiring residents and businesses to compost and recycle. We could dramatically reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills each year if we adopted similar habits as a nation.

How It Works

The U.S. Composting Council defines compost as the resulting product of the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter. Produced by microorganisms that feed off of oxygen, the decomposing waste matter used in composting provides the ideal environment for these micronutrients to flourish and aid in the breakdown of waste to nutrient-rich organic matter. According to the U.S. Composting Council, composting is beneficial in the following ways:

  • Offers plants a variety of micro and macronutrients
  • Controls soil-borne pathogens that threaten plants
  • Balances pH of soil
  • Degrades environmental pollutants

For more information about composting and how you can get started go to:
http://www.blueplanetgreenliving.com/2011/07/22/the-complete-idiot%E2%80%99s-guide-to-composting-by-chris-mclaughlin/

Sustainable Tourism Along Dominican Republic’s North Coast for Green Living Guy

Since Green Living Guy is adding more green travel content, we thought it best to set it off with a trip to the Dominican Republic. This event was fully sponsored and we thank them for it.

The North Coast region, which includes Samaná, Cabarete and Puerto Plata, is comprised of pristine beaches, lush green valleys and palm-covered mountains. The beautiful landscape provides a wide-range of sustainable attractions unique to Dominican Republic. From nature trekking to snorkeling, this was an ideal trip for travelers with a passion for exploration, adventure and supporting the local economy.

We were able to:

Slide down waterfalls at the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua

Snorkel the coral reefs of Sosua Bay

Experience the ultimate in watersports in Cabarete, the Kite Surf Capital of the World

Learn about sustainable and aquaponic farming practices of area resorts

Participate in a surf lesson

Tour the Amber Mine

Go for a swim and hike at Blue Lagoon Cenote

Took in the sites from the Teleférico Cable Car in Puerto Plata

Not only is sustainable tourism an incredibly important component of any economy, but the United Nations has declared 2017 “The Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development,” which adds another interesting angle to share with your readers, who are so passionate about sustainability.

Stop Littering Now Please! Stoplittering.com explains why and how!

Here is the thing. I do recycle religiously. My family knows this. Yet I’m not the main advocate here. It’s stoplittering.com

His website is selling the rights to a litter-free society. 

To symbolize and implement this enterprise we are selling stuff with our logo. By purchasing these items you will become authorized* to exercise your prerogative to pick up one or more pieces of litter a day. And, by actually engaging this prerogative, you are, in effect, voting for a clean society and helping to stigmatize littering. And you won’t feel like you’re the weird one for picking up litter at the bus stop since you won’t be the only one doing it.*products not actually required to exercise said authority.

What got me intetested was their campaign about 

JUST SAY NO TO STRAWS! 

FYI, their Green Living Guy support was the awesome bamboo shirt they sent.  Get ready to check out on my Instagram @greenlivingguy soon enough!!

Besides that I received no other compensation for this post folks. 


http://thelastplasticstraw.org/

Is an important resource and their strength, product lines and involvement in this issue is extremely important. 

As I wrote about in 2016 regarding plastic waste:

From drones to filters to artificial islands, innovators are working to reduce the threat thousands of tons of trash pose to marine ecosystems.

Located on the southern tip of the Pacific island chain of Hawaii, Kamilo Beach is an isolated stretch of black volcanic shoreline in the middle of nowhere. Just a few hundred yards from shore, humpback whales rise up from the depths, colorful fish fill the reefs and rare sea turtles swim in to nest on the beach.


Photo courtesy of Honolulu Civil Beat

But even in this remote place, garbage washes ashore each day. “We find a lot of toothbrushes and combs, plastic bottles and caps, over and over again,” says Megan Lamson, a marine biologist working for a local non-governmental organization, the Hawai‘i Wildlife Fund. (Source: Anja Krieger @anjakrieger)

In response to the growing anti-plastic movement, the paper drinking straw made a comeback in 2007 to meet the needs of zoos, aquariums and theme parks where plastic straws could kill animals if ingested. These new paper straws were crafted with the highest quality in mind, becoming much more durable than the first generation of paper straws. The earth conscious product soon took off among both restaurants and consumers, and is growing increasingly popular because of worldwide green initiatives.

Americans use approximately 500 million plastic straws per day, making them one of the top 10 debris items that pollute our oceans, beaches and marine life. Paper straws, which are biodegradable and decomposable, offer an earth friendly alternative to the harmful plastic straw. However, trusting that your paper straw won’t get soggy, deteriorate or bleed ink into your drink is another concern that most don’t consider.

Some plastic gets trucked to landfills, some to illegal dumping grounds and left to scatter, more is just recklessly discarded joining tons of the toxic stuff already cluttering our waterways. The latest research unmistakably proves that plastic waste toxins are being fed right back to us. It’s time to start producing less plastic trash – for our own health’s sake.


So as Stoplittering.com quotes:

“If I criticize somebody, it’s because I have higher hopes for the world, something good to replace the bad. I’m not saying what the Beat Generation says: ‘Go away because I’m not involved.’ I’m here, and I’m involved.” ~Mort Sahl

Finding Impactful Ways to Fight Food Waste Epidemic

New AAEA member research on how people react to real-life solutions

The United Stated Department of Agriculture estimates between 30 and 40 percent of the country’s food supply is wasted. In fact, in 2015 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the first-ever national food waste goal; hoping to reduce food waste by 50 percent before 2030.

There are several efforts in place to curb food waste, including composting and campaigns to show the impact of throwing food away. But are they working?

Danyi Qi and Brian Roe of The Ohio State University recently conducted an experiment in which people got free lunch in a cafeteria setting and were given different information about if, or how, leftover food would be handled.

        Roe, who leads the Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative, says this is a critical issue that “people can rally around, but there isn’t one set way to combat the problem.

        “(The country) is moving forward with a lot of good ways to reduce food waste,” Roe said, “but what ways are working in harmony and which are working in conflict?”

        What happens when people know if food is being composted? How does guilt play a role in food waste? Those questions and more are analyzed in a paper by Qi and Roe titled “Foodservice Composting Crowds out Consumer Food Waste Reduction Behavior in a Dining Experiment.”

        This research will be presented during an AAEA session at the Allied Social Sciences Association (ASSA) 2017 Annual Meeting, in Chicago, January 6-8. If you are interested in setting up an interview with the authors, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 20 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices. To learn more, visit www.aaea.org.