The Big 5 are generally seen as the most difficult animals to kill, but a new project by photographers is changing this, creating a new list of the five most photogenic animals.
What is Happening?
- The New Big 5 wildlife photography list saw more than 50 000 people from around the world vote for the animals they found to be the most photogenic. Those animals who came out on top are the elephant, lion, polar bear, gorilla and tiger. All of these animals are keystone species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as either critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.
- As part of the project, these animals are being promoted as global ambassadors for all wildlife and the difficulties it faces.
Photographer Marsel van Oosten, who is involved in the project, said, “They’re a stark reminder of what’s at stake if we don’t change our ways. That’s how I will look at each of them, as beautiful representatives of the many thousands of other, often lesser-known species who desperately need our help.”
You might also like: What is the True Cost Of Luxury Leather Goods?
- More than 250 wildlife photographers, conservationists and wildlife charities have supported the year-long initiative. The project aims to use photography to raise awareness about the threats to wildlife from habitat loss, poaching, human conflict, the illegal wildlife trade and the climate emergency, as well as our connection with the natural world
- The traditional Big 5 list of elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and Cape buffalo has roots in the colonial era and was created because these were the most difficult animals to hunt on foot. The practice of trophy hunting continues today; more than 125 000 animals are killed each year for trophies to satisfy US demand alone, many of these endangered species.
- According to organiser and photographer Graeme Green, photographic tourism could bring money for conservation work for animals on the wildlife bucket list. “The real mission of the project is to use this idea to get people thinking and talking about wildlife,” he said.
Ami Vitale, another contributor to the project, said, “While the big charismatic species are great ambassadors, we need to increase awareness about all creatures. This planet is our only shared little life raft and we are on it together. We must all do everything we can to care for the plants and critters that inhabit the Earth. They are fellow travellers and our only friends in this enormous universe. Our future happiness depends on all of them.”