In order to feed herself and her two growing offspring, a mother polar bear must be an infallible hunter. If there is enough sea ice and the hunting is good, a bear might double or even triple its body weight. An excess of fat is needed to nurture growing cubs, as bears wait for the long Arctic summer to end and for the sea ice to form again. As a bear gains weight, the satellite collar, like the one you can see on this mother, might become so tight around her neck as to choke her. Science is important, but when have we gone too far to collect data?
To see a beautiful video of this mother bear playing with her cubs head to @PaulNicklen. Shot for @sea_legacy Legacy. @natgeocreative | #love | #mother | #snow | #HonorParis | #Arctic | #ClimateChangeisReal@SonyAlpha
How do you cool yourself in a hot Arctic day? If you are a polar bear, the next best thing to going for a swim, is sliding down a snowy hill on your belly. This large male did a “caterpillar” slide that had us all in stitches. #Suchamazinganimals
What to us might seem a featureless snow-covered landscape, is to polar bears a complex realm. An invisible map filled with smells and geographical cues that lead to prey, mates and interesting visitors, like ourselves. We watched this big male travel across a frozen scene for over a mile until he finally came all the way down to the edge of the fjord,where we were quietly floating on our zodiac, and he calmly laid down for a nap. Animals never cease to amaze me! #honorParis#stopclimatechange#sea_legacy@sea_legacy@_tomconlin@paulnicklen@lnixpix
The first time I went on a dog sled; the musher didn’t speak English and all he said was “sit."⠀
I didn’t know if he was talking to me or to the dogs, but the minute I put my butt on the sled we took off. Interestingly, there are no handles and no seat belts so I just held on for dear life and I am not entirely sure that if I fell off, he would have come back for me. ⠀
On a more serious note, the fate of the last tribes of the north and perhaps of all humanity is tied to the disappearing sea ice in the Arctic, Antarctica, and Greenland, where this video was taken. ⠀
The ice caps of Greenland is melting at an alarming rate and it is not only having an immediate and significant impact in the lives of these hunters, but because Greenland’s ice cover holds 10% of all the water in the world, stored as ice, its melting is already having an effect on the input of freshwater to the north Atlantic and to the global sea level. What we do, or fail to do in the next few years will determine what our planet will look like for the next thousands or millions of years.⠀
⠀ @natgeocreative, @natgeo, @enricsala@paulnicklen, @sea_legacy, #husky, #dogs, #dogsled, #nature, #animals#love, #culture, #tradition, #enoughness, #gratitude, #ice, #climatechange
Happy Mother’s Day! When baby humpbacks are little, they have very poor buoyancy control. They are not able to stay submersed on their own and they get tired when they have to be on the surface. On this day, we found this mom with her calf resting on the surface. The baby was asleep on top of its mother’s back and barely even blinked when we approached. I especially enjoyed the small school of fish that had formed between them. I guess a big whale can provide a lot of shade and a safe haven from predators!
Photo by @DaisyGilardini for @SeaLegacy // Few women personify the idea of wildlife and conservation photography better than Daisy. As a polar-obsessed photographer, she has made it her mission to give a face and a voice to polar wildlife and this week she graces the pages of SeaLegacy’s Thin Blue Line with her story of adventure, love and hope in the Arctic. In the spirit of #MothersDay, her series of images of a mother polar bear with her cubs is not just beautiful and uplifting, it is a testimony to endurance, perseverance and love. I am grateful to count Daisy as a friend and colleague in arms. Click on the link in my bio to read the whole story. #love#gratitude#polar#osopolar#polarbear#mother@maptia#follow#instagood#madre
Going home to pack for my next Arctic adventure. I am so excited to head back to northern latitudes in hopes of finding some Arctic wildlife. Maybe harp seals or polar bears?
How does such a large animal manage to propel itself so completely out of the water? We watched in awe as this massive mother humpback launched herself out of the water, over and over and over again. Whether she was just happy or trying to shed some of the barnacles that covered her massive fluke and fins, we will never know. All I can tell you is the acrobatic spectacle that only a humpback whale can create, is nothing short of unforgettable. With @PaulNicklen and @_AquaticAdventures.
I want my pictures to show that the people who live in the areas that are at risk of being destroyed are just like us. They are mothers, children, elders and they are scared. They are naive and they don’t really understand the enormity of what is about to happen to them but you and I do and we know that the future for them is uncertain and very frightening.⠀
Please join me for "Water's Edge" at the National Geographic Auditorium in Washington, DC, May 9th, 2017. ⠀
"Water's Edge" will take you on a visual journey through my experience of learning about the concept of responsible earth stewardship as a child growing up in Mexico, and then explore that calling through the ways of life of four communities and their individual relationships with water—the Kayapó in the Amazon, the Inuit of Greenland, the First Nations people of British Columbia, and native Hawaiians.⠀
Photo: Young Kayapo girl bathing in the Xingu River, before the dam.⠀
⠀ @natgeo, @sea_legacy, #watersedge, #awesomeearth, #awesome_earthpix, #discoverearth, #earthofficial, #earthpix
My work is about building a greater awareness of the responsibility of what it means to be a human. It is about understanding that the history of every living thing that has ever existed on this planet also lives within us. It is about the ethical imperative—the urgent reminder that we are inextricably linked to all other species on this planet and that we have a duty to act as the keepers of our fellow life forms.⠀
My presentation, "Water's Edge", features first-hand experiences with the Kayapó people in the Amazon, a society reliant on their local waterway to survive who found their way of life being threatened by a massive new dam; the First Nations in British Columbia protecting their sacred headwaters; an expedition in Greenland where I witnessed how warming global temperatures are impacting the Inuit people and finally, some time in Hawaii where I got to know, admire and respect a new community of indigenous peoples seeking to reclaim their connection to the sea. Through all of this, I have discovered one concept, other than water, that binds these four disparate communities together. That concept is "Enoughness".⠀
"Water's Edge" blends informed compassion, personal insight, and expertise with what I hope is a little bit of humor. Please join me in Washington, DC, at The National Geographic Auditorium on Tuesday, May 9th, at 7:30. You can get tickets through the link in my bio. I hope to see you there. ⠀
⠀ @natgeo, @sea_legacy#watersedge, #awesomeearth, #enoughness, #earthfocus
Humpback whales make the largest mammalian migration in the world. Imagine what these whales might witness during a voyage that can be as long as 16,000 miles every year as they travel between their feeding and breeding sites. Because seasons are reversed either side of the equator, Northern and Southern Hemisphere populations of humpbacks probably never meet; those in the north travel towards their breeding grounds in tropical waters while those in the south are travelling towards the pole to feed. I photographed this one on the SilverBanks of the Dominican Republic.
Polar bears, like this one stalking a seal hole in the Russian Arctic, are one of my favorite animals. Hanging out with @PaulNicklen and learning from him how to approach and photograph these majestic animals has been one of the highlights of my career as a photographer. Being able to go to Svalbard, Norway with him next week to document the effects that climate change is having on polar bears in that region, is one of the most important things I can do as a conservationist. The Arctic is changing rapidly and more than document its demise, we want to create images that inspire change. GO to the link on my bio to find out how to help us make this expedition a reality. .. #bethechange#savetheArctic#savepolarbears#love#respectnature#wildlife#polar#bear
On this Earth Day let’s commit to working as hard as we can to ensure a living planet for those who come after us. That requires making changes in our lives: using less, recycling, sharing, remembering with every action, that Earth has to carry 8 billion of us and that we need to make room for all the other life forms that share the planet with us. Let's commit to walking with a kinder, lighter footprint, so that we won’t trample the resources that support all of us. Happy Earth Day!
A leopard seal comes near my camera to say hello! Both excited and curious, it couldn’t get enough of its own reflection on my dome. Me? I couldn’t stop giggling at the wonderful ballet this graceful animal performed for me as it tried to keep me engaged. If I swam away, it came right back to the front of my camera as if you say “Where do you think you are going?” Truly an unforgettable experience! #OnAssignment for @NatGeo, @NatGeoPristineSeas and @SeaLegacy. With @PaulNicklen, @Andy_mann, @Ladzinski and @CraigWelch.
Earth Day flash sale. A great opportunity to own a signed print by myself or one of my talented @natgeo colleagues.
Like a veil of molten gold, the early evening light bathes a lone humpback whale as it feeds in the krill-rich waters off the Antarctic Peninsula. During our assignment for @NatGeo, we saw hundreds if not thousands of humpback whales. These beautiful cetaceans have made an amazing comeback after having been hunted to the very verge of extinction during the whaling era. No matter how many times I see them, I am always thrilled to know they are still out there.
With @PaulNicklen, @Ladzinski, @Andy_Mann, #pattersonimages. @CraigWelch for @NatGeo, @NatGeoPristineSeas and @SeaLegacy.
Shadows dance across the frozen landscape as a pod of Antarctic Minke whales travels along the face of a massive glacier. Minkes, the third smallest of the baleen whales, were largely spared by the whaling industry due to their small size. As a result, they once were the most abundant baleen whale in the world. In the past 40 years, however, they became the target of whalers in countries like Brazil and South Africa and more recently, they have been hunted by the Japanese Antarctic whaling fleet, which hunts them under the guise of a very controversial “scientific research” scheme. I am sure most people would join me in voicing a desire for these whales to be left alone and for the long overdue end of the whaling era. #OnAssignment for @NatGeo and @NatGeoPristineSeas with @PaulNicklen, @Ladzinski, @Andy_Mann and @SeaLegacy. *
Adelie penguins may spend hours stacked together on blocks of floating ice, just waiting for the right moment to forage. Ice is their perch, their safe haven from predators, their launch pad. But ice, especially sea ice formed by frozen ocean water, also is essential for krill, staple of the penguin diet. Here near the eastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, ice often remains thick through summer. But travel across the Antarctic Sound to the western peninsula and ocean circulation and wind patterns are different. There, temperatures warming extremely fast, rapidly melting ice. And there, Adelie populations in many places have dropped by more than half in 30 years. #onassignment for @natgeo with @paulnicklen, @ladzinski, @andy_mann. Caption by NG assignment writer @craigwelch@pattersonimages@ianvaso #travel#explore#learn#ocean#worldpenguinday#photographersforantarctica
I have travelled to more than 100 countries, dived, snorkeled, or swam in many oceans all over the world and while every one of them is sacred and vital, the beauty of the Salish Sea is truly exceptional. Even before I ventured beneath the surface, I was captivated and mystified by the fact that orcas and humpback whales frolic in what is now my “front yard”. My love for British Columbia’s Salish Sea only intensified when I experienced the abundance, beauty and health of its underwater world. Once I put my head beneath the Thin Blue Line, I was met with a veritable underwater garden unlike any I have ever seen - a truly magical ecosystem. Through @sea_legacy, my partner @paulnicklen and I are supporting a campaign to see the Salish Sea designated as a World Heritage Site. Watch the video link in my profile to experience the wonder of this magical area and learn how you can be a part of this important iniative. With @willie_mitch33@sonyalpha@unesco, @hellobc, @parks.canada@filterstudios#salishsea, #wearethesalishsea, #whales, #stellarsealion
A baby elephant seal, or "weaner", sits alone on a beach on the Antarctic Peninsula. After suckling her pup for about twenty-eight days, the mother elephant seal shuts off the supply of rich milk. The mother weans her pup abruptly so that she can return to the sea and replenish her depleted nutritional supplies after having fasted since coming ashore to give birth. In so doing, she will leave her pup, now re-named ' weaner ', to fend for itself on the beach. Over the next two to three months, as the weaners spend more and more time in the water, they venture further and further away from their home shore. Sometimes, they get caught up in the ocean currents and have to come ashore on different beaches to rest. #OnAssignment for @NatGeo, @NatGeoPristineSeas and @SeaLegacy. With @Paul Nicklen, @Andy_mann, @Ladzinski and @CraigWelch. *