Photographing the world’s animals to help stop the extinction crisis
For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Half of the world’s plant and animal species are projected to go extinct by 2100.
Photo Ark is a multiyear National Geographic project with a simple goal—to create portraits of the world’s captive species before they disappear, and to inspire people everywhere to care.
Currently the Photo Ark collection includes more than 5,000 species—but photographer Joel Sartore isn't done. His goal is to document the world's 12,000 captive species with the studio lighting and black and white backgrounds that give the collection its iconic look. The hope? To inspire millions around the world with the message that it's not too late to save some of the planet's most endangered species.
See Photos From the Collection
Photographer Joel Sartore is capturing the world's animals—including big cats and wolves—before they go extinct.
See a whooping crane, a Javan rhinoceros hornbill, and more stunning birds photographed by Joel Sartore.
See photos of monkeys, lemurs, and great apes from photographer Joel Sartore.
Browse the Photo Ark for framed and unframed prints available for your home, or learn how to license an image for professional uses.
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Many of the species featured in the Photo Ark can be saved, but it will take people with passion or money—or both—to step up and get involved.
See the Photo Ark Exhibit
With ingenuity and wit, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore has captured portraits of more than 5,000 creatures to date, with more to come. Many of the animals live in the world’s zoos and aquariums, institutions dedicated to preserving and caring for species of all kinds. This exhibition, at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., features many iconic images and allows visitors to follow Sartore around the world on this exciting and important project.Learn More
More About Photo Ark
But others are likely to face increasing threats to their survival. Here’s a guide to some of the winners and losers.
Sartore is now on a mission to halt extinction or, at the very least, slow the process down.
National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on what may be the biggest assignment of his life.
A clean background, combined with nice light, allows the viewer to look every species in the eye, the window to the soul.
Sartore has contributed to over 30 stories in more than 20 years on assignment for National Geographic.