joelsartore Joel Sartore- Photo Ark

Founder of the Photo Ark, a 25-year project to show the world the beauty of biodiversity in all its forms, and inspire action to save species.
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Band-bellied owls like this one photographed at the Monticello Center in Italy can be found within a large range throughout Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The hunting behavior of these elusive birds are widely unknown, but they are thought to feed mainly on small mammals and large insects. They can grow to be about 19 inches (48 cm) in length and weigh just over one pound (500 grams). These beautiful creatures are named for the horizontal stripes that can be seen across their cream-colored abdomens. This photo shoot was made possible in collaboration with the To see a video of this owl, check out !

25743 136 Jan 19, 2018

This is Gigi, a two-week old snow monkey that is currently being hand-raised by her keepers at since her mother did not have the skills necessary to feed and raise her. When she’s old enough she will be reintegrated into her troop. In the wild, these primates live in extremely cold conditions in Japan and can often be found warming up in the hot springs there. Snow monkeys are highly intelligent creatures. During a study in the 1950s, researchers observed a female snow monkey washing sand off of her sweet potato in river water as opposed to simply brushing the sand off like the other monkeys. She even discovered that dipping her potato in salt water added a bit of seasoning. When her siblings saw her washing and seasoning her food, they began to copy her actions. Soon, even her mother was washing her food in the river. Over the next few years, scientists discovered that this cleaning ritual had spread rapidly across the entire island, and within a decade every single monkey was washing their potatoes. Today, although none of the original monkeys are living, the monkeys on this island all still enjoy clean, seasoned potatoes. . To see a video of Gigi, check out !

40002 471 Jan 18, 2018

Red-footed falcons are sexually dimorphic, meaning females and males look very different from one another. In this case, the females are tinted red while males have a dark gray plumage. These small, slender and graceful birds hunt mostly at night, capturing crickets, locusts and grasshoppers with their talons. Red-footed falcons are social birds and are rarely seen alone. They roost in large colonies and migrate with one another between southwest Africa and Eurasia. A big thank you to the for the opportunity to photograph this animal. These falcons were photographed at the Monticello Center in Italy.

26683 85 Jan 17, 2018

With the onslaught of cold temperatures in Texas last week, over 2,000 green sea turtles along the Texas Coast needed rescue – making it the largest recorded cold-stunning event to date. As a cold-blooded species living in the ocean, sea turtles have adapted to live in tropical or semi-tropical waters which helps to keep their bodies warm. Resilient in nature, sea turtles can do just fine during cold spells if they can find water temperatures off shore at or above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if temperatures drop very quickly, there is not always time to move away from land. This causes “cold-stunning”, when sea turtles have a slowed heart rate, decreasing circulation and making it very difficult for them to swim or find food. Green sea turtles are especially vulnerable to this, as they feed off vegetation found in shallow waters. 305 green sea turtles were rescued on the Upper Texas Coast, and teams from NOAA Fisheries, the , Moody Gardens, the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, Texas Master Naturalists, Turtle Island Restoration Network, and Texas A&M worked tirelessly to transport these turtles from Galveston, TX to our National Seashore where waters were warm enough for the turtles to be safely released back into the wild. This green sea turtle was photographed at in Mexico.

32006 203 Jan 16, 2018

This kit fox named Frankie was photographed at in California where their mission is to preserve a portion of the Colorado Desert, grow populations through captive breeding, raise awareness of plants and animals in worldwide ecosystems and to foster education about the protection of desert species. Kit foxes are the smallest of all wild North American canid species, reaching just 21 inches (53.3 cm) in length. These little foxes use their disproportionately large ears not just for hearing, but to help them dissipate heat as they roam throughout their desert environments. Their fur changes colors depending on the season in order to help them blend in with their surroundings. To protect them from the blisteringly hot desert sand, kit foxes have dense hair between their foot pads, which can also help with traction.

34995 198 Jan 16, 2018

Introducing Fabian, a male bearded vulture living in with his mate, Julia. They are both 12 years old and met for the first time in 2006. Although it took a while, Fabian and Julia eventually developed a strong bond, and now are mates and build nests together. Bearded vultures are extremely large: they can weigh up to 7 kg and have a wingspan of 231 to 283 cm. They can be found in mountainous regions, between 300 and 4,500 meters above sea level, in desolate areas containing precipices, gorges or cliffs overlooking pastures and meadows. Bearded vultures are known to perform 'sky dances', ascending to high altitudes and rapidly diving down, twisting and rolling past the nesting site. Because bearded vultures feed on the bones of already dead sheep and goats, they were condemned by ranchers and almost completely wiped out by the beginning of the 20th century. Now, thanks to tireless captive breeding and reintroduction programs, the bearded vulture is finally making a comeback! Parco Natura Viva is supporting the Vulture Conservation Foundation for the reintroduction of the bearded vulture in the Alps, as well as participating with scientific papers and developing educational activities with the public to raise awareness on the protection of this magnificent bird. This photo shoot was made possible in collaboration with the Check out fora video of this vulture.

21526 107 Jan 15, 2018

Sarcastic fringehead fish are aggressively territorial. If they are disturbed they will open their enormous and frightening mouths wide in order to spook a predator away. If they happen to cross paths with another of their kind, a very strange battle will commence during which the fish 'open wide' and press their mouths against one another while using their needle-like teeth as weapons.

32122 292 Jan 14, 2018

Meet Poa, a juvenile common wombat photographed at Healesville Sanctuary, a part of , when she was just 10 months old. Poa was orphaned in the wild and rescued by the Sanctuary after her mother died at the hands of a hunter. Because she was understandably frightened upon arrival, Poa was raised by Keeper Amie Hindson and went home with her every night. Poa loves long walks in the grass, sleeping next to heating vents, and... butt scratches! Wombats are considered the “bulldozers of the bush” and can be found in southern and eastern parts of Australia. They feed mainly on grass and produce cube-shaped scat. At this time common wombat numbers are stable.

39597 331 Jan 13, 2018

The Ural owl’s four-foot wingspan allows it to glide gracefully from perch to perch as it scans the ground for smaller animals to hunt. Any surplus food the owl catches is stored either in its nest or in nearby spaces for later. Males of this species claim their territory by singing from their perch, and mates can be heard dueting during courtship. These beautiful birds of prey live in deciduous forests in Northern Europe through northern Russia and Siberia all the way to Korea and Japan. Thank you to the for the opportunity to photograph this bird at the Monticello Center in Italy.

30934 140 Jan 12, 2018

Critically-endangered Kurdistan spotted newts reside in just four severely-fragmented streams in Iran. Though they are currently protected by law in Iran, they are often illegally exported for the international pet trade. Captive breeding now plays a vital role in the continuation of this beautiful species. , where these newts were photographed, is breeding the Kurdistan newt, which creates a chance for its reintroduction back into those four streams in the Zagros Mountains in Iran. Recent studies estimate that there are approximately 1,000 individuals left in nature. A few dozen individuals hatched at the ZOO Wroclaw in 2005, giving even more hope that the species will survive in the long term. To see a video of these newts, check out !

41075 221 Jan 11, 2018

On this two year anniversary of the death of the legendary David Bowie, meet the David Bowie spider. This vibrant spider was named in 2008 by a German arachnologist after he was sent photos of one that some Germans were keeping as a pet. Instead of capturing prey in a web, the David Bowie spider stalks and then lunges onto its dinner before injecting it with venom. These arachnids are found in Malaysia, primarily resting on tree bark and leaves, waiting for their next meal to pass by.

27530 315 Jan 10, 2018

Harry and Kamili are two L’Hoest’s Monkeys living at Harry, aged 15, and Kamil, aged 5, met each other in Parco Natura Viva, where they immediately developed a strong bond, engaging in mutual grooming and food sharing. In the wild these primates are found in montane tropical rainforests of the Albertine Rift in Central Africa at altitudes ranging from 900 to 2,500 m. Although more terrestrial than most other guenons, they forage and sleep as a group in the canopy, where they participate in mutual grooming. L’Hoest’s Monkeys are threatened by deforestation on the eastern edge of their main range as a result of agricultural expansion. Parco Natura Viva is supporting the European ex situ conservation programme (EEP) of the L’Hoest’s monkey and developing educational activities with visitors to raise awareness on the protection of African primates and their fragile ecosystems. Sending a big thank you to for the opportunity to photograph these monkeys.

20953 97 Jan 9, 2018