Sumatran orangutan, Pongo abelii. 

Habitat loss-driven primarily by human expansion as we develop land for housing, agriculture, and commerce-is the biggest threat facing most animal species, followed by hunting and fishing. Even when habitat is not lost entirely, it may be changed so much that animals cannot adapt.

ROLLING HILLS ZOO, KANSAS

Sumatran orangutan, Pongo abelii. Habitat loss-driven primarily by human expansion as we develop land for housing, agriculture, and commerce-is the biggest threat facing most animal species, followed by hunting and fishing. Even when habitat is not lost entirely, it may be changed so much that animals cannot adapt. ROLLING HILLS ZOO, KANSAS

Over 28,000 species of plants and animals are at risk for extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Joel Sartore wants to take a picture of the estimated 12,000 of those specimens held in captivity. His project is called “Photo Ark,” and one publication called him a “real life Noah”.

Sartore has taken photos of the South China tiger, the large yellow-footed tortoise and the red panda, all of which you can see in this month’s National Geographic,.

He spoke to The Telegraph about why he feels it’s important to look animals in the eye.

We’re primates ourselves so eye contact is huge. If we can look animals in the eye and think about them just a little, just for a few moments, we might be able to get people to think about bigger issues such as climate change, or the foods they eat, social unrest, the things that drive environmental destruction.

We hear from him about the animals and plants he’s photographed already and which ones he’s hoping to capture next.

Produced by Kathryn Fink.

Guests

  • Joel Sartore Wildlife photographer, National Geographic; founder, Photo Ark; author, "Vanishing: The World's Most Vulnerable Animals"; @joelsartore

A Collection Of Joel Sartore's Photographs From The 'Photo Ark'

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