National Geographic Photographer & Explorer // Conservation Biologist // Nat Geo LIVE! Speaker
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To celebrate the publication of my latest story for @NatGeo magazine focused on global sea turtle conservation, I want to share a video of one of the most epic nights of my life. Working with scientists and conservation rangers we used red light (which does not disturb the turtles) to reveal a fraction of the more than ten thousand of Olive Ridley turtles that nested on Costa Rica’s Ostional beach during single night in 2018. Watch until the end to see the astonishing number of turtles that carpet the shoreline. @vbezy @ottowhitehead @craigwelch @filipe_deandrade #seaturtles
The waters around the northern Galápagos Islands of Wolf and Darwin are one of few places in the world where mature whale sharks make regular appearances. Silky sharks are also abundant in these productive waters, but are dwarfed by these 30 + foot giants. Photography in these wild waters is pretty difficult, the currents were ripping and the whale sharks swim surprisingly fast. After free diving at Darwin’s Arch for 3 hours my lungs were aching and my legs were spent. Shot on assignment for @natgeo in collaboration with @darwinfound @pelayosalinas @saveourseasfoundation and #paulmangellfoundation
Sponsored by @burtsbees // Entering into a deep relationship with nature has not only made my life more meaningful, but has also strengthened my commitment to telling stories that drive positive conservation change. As a National Geographic photographer, I am pledging to change for nature. // Post black using #NatureBlackout to stand together with the next generation during this week's #UNClimateSummit. Take the pledge to make a difference at burtsbees.com/changefornature and @burtsbees will donate $10 for each pledge made to National Geographic Society up to $100,000!
Long before I started work on my @natgeo Galapagos story I envisioned making a photograph that would juxtapose a marine iguana with a school of fish. Transforming the scene lodged in my mind into reality took many hours, over many days, following a school of surgeon fish. It was only towards the end of my stay at a remote spot that a marine iguana finally swam through the frame and I got the image. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo in collaboration with @parquegalapagos @charlesdarwinfoundation @pelayosalinas #galapagos #marineiguana #iguana #underwaterphotograpy #ecuador
An Arabian Sea snake surfaces to breathe after hunting small fish on the seabed of the Gulf of Oman 🇴🇲 This endemic snake’s undulating body reminds me of the elegant Arabic script that sadly resisted all my attempts to learn to read. I spent many months in the Middle East shooting a story for @NatGeo about marine biodiversity and conservation in the Arabian region. #seasnake #arabia #arabic #caligraphy
Bloody Thirsty // In the dry season, when seeds, insects and water are scarce on remote Wolf Island, Galapagos finches turn into vampires. They target seabirds, mainly Nazca boobies and peck at the base of the flight feathers until the blood begins to flow. I have seen up to 10 finches drink blood from a single boobie. Despite the gory, horror movie-esque outward appearance, the seabirds don’t seem to be permanently harmed by this outlandish behavior. Also unlike in other tales of vampires, this one does not end in the boobies turning into the vampire finches 🧛♂️ after being bit. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo in collaboration with @parquegalapagos and @charlesdarwinfoundation #vampire #vampires #trueblood #blood #horror #galapagos #finches
Giant Galapagos tortoises overnight in temporary rainwater pools on the crater floor of Alcedo volcano. The soundtrack to this primordial scene includes regular earthquake like rumblings and the hissing sound of the volcano’s sulphur plume gushing into the night sky. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo in collaboration with @parquegalapagos @charlesdarwinfoundation #galapagos #tortoise #volcano #timetravel #wilderness
I am busy packing for my next @natgeo assignment and almost forgot that today is International Whale Shark Day. So in honor of our planet’s largest and spottiest shark here are some of my favorite whale shark photographs from my @NatGeo story about the seas of Arabia. #whaleshark #whalesharks #spotty #spots #ocean #shark #underwater
Mating green turtles rest on the seabed between bouts of active swimming and breathing at the surface. They can remain in this embrace for many hours, with the male sitting on top, the female is in charge of this courting couple’s activity regime. Shot for @natgeo in the waters of Europa Atoll, a remote French atoll in the Mozambique Channel sandwiched between the African mainland and the island of Madagascar. #taaf #indianocean #seaturtles #africa #hug #hugs #turtle #turtles
Shortfin mako sharks are in trouble and next week could prove critical to species future. This month conservation experts from around the world are meeting in Geneva Switzerland for the 2019 CITES conference (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species). Mako sharks are currently listed as endangered and their mortality in commercial fisheries is much too high to be sustainable (especially in the North Atlantic). Unlike other shark species where the majority of the value lies in the fins, mako meat, and to a lesser degree their jaws, are also in great demand. One way to reduce mortality is to list shortfin mako sharks under CITES Appendix 2, which can help regulate the global trade. Currently the US and Canada, countries normally at the leading edge of shark conservation, are planning to oppose the listing of mako sharks. To learn more about mako sharks and CITES, I have put up a link (below my bio) to a recent article penned by shark biologist and science writer @whysharksmatter It is a short, balanced and informative read, so go check it out! // The first image of my gallery shows a fishermen displaying the jaw of a large mako caught in the Indian Ocean. Photograph two is of mako shark carcasses landed at a port on the Arabian Sea. In photograph three a vendor tips out a large bag of dried shark fins from various species. The shark in photograph four is not a mako (it is a bull shark) but illustrates how much meat there is on a shark carcass. #makoshark #makosharks #abreakformakos #cites #citesconference #sharks
Over just a few days hundreds of thousand Olive ridley sea turtles crawl up the beaches of Ostional -Costa Rica in a synchronized mass nesting event called a Arribada. Seeing this phenomenon for the first time from an aerial perspective left me speechless. What at first looks like finger length turtle hatchlings,are in fact 100 pound adults tattooing the beach with their distinctive bulldozer like tracts. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo working with @craigwelch @filipe_deandrade @ottowhitehead #costarica #seaturtles #turtles #ostional #fromabove
Macaroni penguins climb towards the summit of a sea cliff situated right above the iconic Amphitheater. This unique penguin nesting and moulting site is located along the western edge of Marion Island. Despite being situated more than 1000 km south of Cape Town, deep in the southern Ocean, Marion belongs to South Africa and hosts a important scientific research station. Shot on assignment for @natgeo in collaboration with the South African National Antarctic Program (SANAP) and the Department of Environmental Affairs @environmentza @ottowhitehead #penguins #seabirdcrisis #marionisland #trekking #adventure #wilderness #southafrica