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The best wildlife photography forces the viewer to understand the meaning of “wildness” and why it must be protected. At a time when animals are disappearing at hundreds of times the normal rate—with humans as their biggest threat—it seems more urgent than ever that humans reconnect with the natural world.
A recent intergovernmental report on the biodiversity crisis estimated that extinction threatens up to a million animal and plant species, known and unknown. Within the past year, the world lost the male northern white rhino, the United States whittled away at key protections for endangered species, and the impacts of climate change—rising water temperatures, increased flooding, deforestation, fires, and severe storms—affected the survival of wildlife globally.
Curated by renowned nature picture editor Kathy Moran, National Geographic: 50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs is a celebratory look at the natural world, featuring images taken by some of the world’s greatest wildlife photographers. On view through May 25, 2020, it’s a perfect complement to Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s spotlight on the Anthropocene, the current geological epoch in which human activity is causing profound and pervasive impact on planet Earth.
Thomas P. Peschak
San Ignacio Lagoon, Mexico, 2015
A tourist on a boat in Laguna San Ignacio reaches into the water in hopes of petting one of many gray whales that frequent the bay to mate and care for their young.
Ely, Minnesota, 1997
An aerial view of gray wolves of the Malberg Pack near Malberg Lake.
Wolong Nature Reserve, Sichuan Province, China, 2015
A 16-year-old giant panda inside her enclosure at the Wolong Nature Reserve.
Gribbell Island, Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada, 2010
A Kermode bear eats a fish in a moss-draped rain forest.
Anvers Island, Antarctica, 2006
This huge female leopard seal, 12-feet-plus in length and well over 1,000 pounds, kills a penguin chick and then donates it to the camera. This is the first day that many of the chicks are heading to sea for the first time, which means it’s easy pickings for the leopard seals.
50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs is organized and traveled by the National Geographic Society. The exhibition at Carnegie Museum of Natural History is presented by Green Mountain Energy and sponsored by Highmark and Baierl Subaru.
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