#extinctionendshere

Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | A crabeater seal snoozes in the sun in Antarctica. Despite its name, this toothy marine mammal feeds on krill, a small shrimplike crustacean, which is the keystone species of the Antarctic food chain. The krill population in Antarctica has declined 80% since the 1970s, a direct consequence of both climate change and overfishing. In architecture, the keystone is the last piece placed in the construction of a vault or an archway. Placed at the top, it locks all other stones into position and holds them in place, enabling the arch to bear the weight of heavy loads. If you take the keystone away, the archway fails, and the walls they were built to support come crumbling down. Without a healthy and sizable krill population, the Antarctic ecosystem as we know it will fall apart. Follow me @Mitty to learn more about the ways that we can work together in 2020 to establish more marine protected areas in the Antarctic Peninsula. #MPA #CCAMLR #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | A crabeater seal snoozes in the sun in Antarctica. Despite it...
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | Winter in the northern fjords of Norway is steeped in dark mystery. Finding orcas underwater is possible by locating their triangular fins as they patrol the fjords in search of the vast schools of herring that seek shelter here. If you get a chance to get in the water, you will find a beautiful ballet, as whales corral fish in a coordinated exercise so perfectly coordinated that you almost have to rub your eyes to believe it. Every winter, over one thousand killer whales and hundreds of humpback whales congregate in this region—the Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja archipelagos—to feed because it is so rich with fish. There's no other place in the world like it. Follow me @Mitty to learn more about what it's like to look one of the world's top predators in the eye underwater and how I'm working with @SeaLegacy to protect places like this. #OilFreeLofoten #ExtinctionEndsHere #Orca #Ocean #Norway
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | Winter in the northern fjords of Norway is steeped in dark my...
Photo by @paulnicklen | The narwhal is one of the most elusive and mysterious mammals in the Arctic. In this photo, they jockeyed for position to catch a breath of air during a polar-cod feeding frenzy. Ever since I was a kid growing up in the Canadian Arctic, I have always been fascinated by the unicorns of the sea. I had returned to the Canadian Arctic for eight years before capturing this moment. Follow me @PaulNicklen for more images that document the intimacy between wildlife and their environment. #Narwhal #Nature #Wildlifephotography #ExtinctionEndsHere
Photo by @paulnicklen | The narwhal is one of the most elusive and mysterious mammals in the Arctic....
Photo by @paulnicklen | A humpback whale descends into the depths of Gerlache Strait, in Antarctica, to gorge on krill. Much further north in the opposite hemisphere, this past spring and summer saw over 121 grey whales washed up dead on shores in North America, from California to Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and British Columbia. This was the highest recorded whale die-off in 20 years. Scientists believe massive oceanic animals are starving to death and speculate that it’s because food sources are vanishing, or changing their behaviors, in the dramatically warmer waters triggered by climate change. The global effects of climate change are no longer a discussion for the future, we are experiencing a radically and rapidly changing planet. Follow me @PaulNicklen to learn how you can make a difference for the health of the ocean and the future of our shared planet. Shot on assignment for @NatGeo. #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere #WhaleTail
Photo by @paulnicklen | A humpback whale descends into the depths of Gerlache Strait, in Antarctica,...
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | When this sperm whale, an old matriarch judging by the many scars in her body, started slowly swimming away, I found myself riding the strong current she created with her massive fluke. She knew I was right behind her, but she didn't seem to mind. More than once I thought about touching her, but as a wildlife photographer it's critical to pass through these moments as little more than a shadow. This is their world. So instead of giving in to my urge, I kept my distance and kept up with her slow swim for as long as I could, and then watched until she eventually disappeared into the warm waters off Dominica. Follow me @Mitty for more from my expeditions with @SeaLegacy that have changed me as an artist and a conservationist. #WhaleTail #SpermWhale #UnderwaterPhotography #ExtinctionEndsHere

Nat Geo is celebrating women who fearlessly push boundaries and inspire the next generation of changemakers. For a week, all of our posts and stories on @natgeo were photographed by women, about women. Use #NatGeoWomenofImpact to share how a woman in your life has empowered you.
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | When this sperm whale, an old matriarch judging by the many s...
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | A sperm whale soars skyward off the coast of the Dominica. I had never seen a sperm whale breach like this before. Compared to orcas or humpback whales, sperm whales aren't as well known for this kind of aerobatic display, but here you can see that they are capable of great agility. They are the largest toothed predators in the world with the largest brains, and their skeletons are designed to handle the immense pressure of their deep ocean dives. A flexible cartilage connects the spine to the ribs, which means the rib cage collapses under heavy pressure instead of snapping. These whales were historically hunted for their oil and spermaceti, a mixture of fat and waxes found in their heads. Spermaceti was used to make candles and cosmetics, among other things. The outlaw of most whaling worldwide has granted these whales some protection, but they are still considered vulnerable and endangered, and there is more that we can do for them. Follow me @PaulNicklen to learn more about the role the sperm whale plays in its ocean environment, as well as how you can make a difference to their survival with @SeaLegacy and me. #ExtinctionEndsHere #Whale #Biology #Funfacts
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | A sperm whale soars skyward off the coast of the Dominica. I ha...
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @mitty | A friend told me she can't grasp which part of the animal she's looking at in a  picture like this. Sometimes I take for granted the things I know—and I fail to explain them to those that might be seeing an animal for the first time! What we see here are four humpback whales feeding together. Their mouths are open and their throat pleats distended to accommodate the large volume of water they must displace in order to filter fish and krill through their baleen. It is an incredible spectacle to watch when these large animals emerge from the water with such force. I can only imagine what goes on underwater, but it must be amazing. Humpback whales were almost completely wiped out by whaling. They made a fabulous comeback when they received protection by mechanisms such as the Endangered Species Act, a crucial piece of legislation that has recently become endangered itself. Follow me @mitty and @SeaLegacy if you want to make a difference in the life of endangered species. #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere #Expedition #ESA
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @mitty | A friend told me she can't grasp which part of the animal she...
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | Biologist Debbie Tobin holds the paw of a sea otter taking its last breath on the shores of Homer, Alaska. You could be a wildlife photographer for twenty years and never be prepared for what it's like to walk up to a dying sea otter, wheezing its last breaths. Beginning in 2013, a body of warm water, nicknamed "the blob," formed in the Gulf of Alaska. It morphed and it grew and it stretched all the way to Mexico, until it covered 3.5 million square miles, feeding toxic algae blooms that devastated marine life on the North Pacific coast for years. In 2015, some 300 sea otters were found dead or dying on beaches in Homer, Alaska. I will never forget the sounds they made. Warming water temperatures worldwide are a symptom of the climate crisis—the blob was like a fever. The American government recently announced that it intends to change the Endangered Species Act, making it easier to remove endangered species, like the sea otter, from the list. It also pits the value of protecting species up against the cost of losing revenue from industry. Research tells us that extreme events like the blob will become more common; if we continue to put industry and profit first, things will only get worse. To see a video of the tragic moment when a sea otter takes its last breaths, follow me @PaulNicklen. #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere #ClimateChangeIsReal #ActNow
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | Biologist Debbie Tobin holds the paw of a sea otter taking its...
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | A baby fur seal conceals itself in a pot to avoid a stampede of adult fur seals on South Georgia Island, Antarctica. At first glance this moment might seem cute, but there is a both an irony and a dark history here: These pots were used to boil the fat off of elephant seals, a pinniped like this fur seal, in the early 20th century, only a hundred years ago. Elephant seals were hunted for their body fat, and fur seals were nearly wiped out for their fur. When the killing eventually stopped, fur seals rebounded to their historic numbers, and today elephant seal populations are also healthy and thriving. Follow me @PaulNicklen to find out how you can join a movement striving to create healthier, more abundant oceans. #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere #History #Seals
Photo by Paul Nicklen @paulnicklen | A baby fur seal conceals itself in a pot to avoid a stampede of...
Photo by @paulnicklen | I was 26 years old when I took this photo of Dr. Mitch Taylor removing a tranquilizer dart from a massive male polar bear that we found sleeping in a summer den, high up in the mountains on Baffin Island, Nunavut. This was the moment in my journey through life when I realized that I could be much more effective as a photojournalist than as a scientist. Now I spend much of my time translating what scientists are saying into visual stories—to build a bridge between the scientific community and the rest of the world. When I was growing up, the Internet didn't exist. Google wasn't even a word. Young people today are growing up in an era where it's easier than ever before to access and to publish information. With all the climate deniers out there, it can be hard sometimes to know what's real and what isn't, but I've spent most of my life in the field, on the edges of the wild, and I've seen the effects of climate change with my own eyes. Follow me @PaulNicklen to learn more about climate change in the Arctic and how I am #TurningTheTide and bridging science and solutions with my team at @SeaLegacy. #inspire #empower #youth #ExtinctionEndsHere
Photo by @paulnicklen | I was 26 years old when I took this photo of Dr. Mitch Taylor removing a tra...
Penguins don’t fly - in the air, that is - and they’re not known for their grace or their agility on land. Underwater is a different story. Penguin wings evolved for swimming and more efficient diving. They are like little tuxedo rockets in the sea; launching themselves out of the water and back onto land. The little adélie penguins, like the one in this photo, reach speeds of up to 8 km/ per hour and are capable of leaping 3m out of the water to return to land. But gentoo penguins are the fastest - they can swim up to 36km/hr! Establishing more marine protected areas in Antarctica will help to ensure the success of wildlife. ⁣
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#CCAMLR #ExtinctionEndsHere #StopClimateChange #wildlifephotography #wildlife_photography #wildlifephotographer #wildlife #natgeowild #wildlifeonearth #natgeowildlife #wildplanet #wildlife_inspired #wildlifeperfection #bbcwildlife #featured_wildlife #wildlife_seekers #wildlifeprotection #majestic_wildlife_ #wildlife_in_bl #wildgeography #penguin #penguin🐧 #pinguin #penguinlove #penguins #penguinsofinstagram #pinguins #babypenguin #penguinlife #emperorpenguin
Penguins don’t fly - in the air, that is - and they’re not known for their grace or their agility on...
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | As @paulnicklen disappeared into the forest on one of the many islands that grace the rugged coast of British Columbia to look for wolves, I was left alone on the beach to make sure our Zodiac boat would not wash away. Imagine my surprise when this young wolf walked out of the forest and onto the beach. Wolves on these shores are different from those inland. Ninety percent of their diet is from the ocean, so they spend a lot of time patrolling the shore in search of food. It was almost awkward to stand there together, sizing each other up—not in a confrontational way, but as if we were both asking: Who are you and what are you doing here? I think about this moment when I remember that rain wolves are afforded no formal protections from the B.C. government. I hope that sharing stories about my experiences in the wild with them will change that. Follow me @Mitty for more videos and images documenting the diversity of life on the Canadian pacific coast. #TurningTheTide #ExtinctionEndsHere #gratitude #wolf
Photo by Cristina Mittermeier @Mitty | As @paulnicklen disappeared into the forest on one of the man...