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Photo by @mattiasklumofficial / I took this picture on a clear night near the Nyiragongo stratovolcano, situated in the Virunga Mountains in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This range is home to the endangered mountain gorilla, listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species due to poaching, habitat loss, disease, and war. Lately the numbers of this primate are on the rise, following conservation efforts in the transboundary Virunga Massif, one of the two remaining areas where the great ape is still found. Please go to @mattiasklumofficial to see other remarkable places and creatures from around the world. #conservationsuccess #congodr #virunga #rainforest #gorilla
Photo by @brentstirton / Tired men bathe in the warm waters of the Niger River after unloading goods in the port of Timbuktu. The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo. Nigeria and Niger both take their name from this great river. The Niger is the principal river of West Africa, extending about 2,600 miles (4,200km). This river is historically key to trans-Saharan trade, fueling the wealth of great empires over the centuries. A number of trading ports along the river, places like Timbuktu, became centers of learning and culture. Trade along the Niger brought Islam to the region in the 14th century, and it remains a central religion for the region.
Photo and video by @stevewinterphoto and Mike McGovern / Most black bear cubs who lose their mothers do not survive. Luckily for these cubs, they were rescued and brought to the Kilham Bear Center in New Hampshire. The center has rehabilitated orphaned black bears for the past 25 years. Wildlife reintroduction can be difficult and is not possible for all species. However, Ben Kilham, his wife, Deb, and his sister Phoebe have developed a successful method which allows the bears to thrive in the wild—with very little human conflict. With the help of Andy Timmins and the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, which releases the cubs, the Kilhams have successfully helped hundreds of bears return to the wild. These young cubs are enjoying a fresh delivery of apples within their 8.5-acre (3.5ha) enclosure. With winter approaching, they need to put on weight to survive the season. For more on this, follow @stevewinterphoto and @mikemcgovern.
Photo and video by @bertiegregory / Puffins can fly up to 55 mph (88 kmh), flapping their wings 400 times per minute! This rapid wing beat and a lack of gliding means they have a pretty frantic appearance when they zoom past. I was keen to see how this compared to their movements underwater, so I dropped into the water about 50 meters (150ft) away from a big raft of puffins near Skomer Island in southwest Wales. I slowly finned over until I was about 10 meters (30ft) away. Then I waited. After a few minutes a couple of individuals started to get curious and they bobbed over to check me out. As I put my head under to check on my camera, I realized a couple of others had approached underwater, whizzing around me. This video was the result. The visibility was rubbish and the light was rubbish, but to see a puffin in its element, effortlessly gliding, was a magical glimpse into their hidden underwater lives. I’ll be back. Follow @bertiegregory for more wildlife adventures. #puffin #britishwildlife #cute #fishing #wildlifephotography
Photo by @timlaman / Morning mist rises from the Moose River in western Maine, where my daughter Jessica and I enjoyed a three-day, forty-plus-mile paddleboard adventure in September. The early morning light was a highlight of the trip. As a Nat Geo photographer whose projects are mostly related to rainforest wildlife, I’ve missed a lot of fieldwork due to the pandemic. But on the other hand, I’m having a chance to explore more of New England, where I live…got to look on the positive side. Follow my adventures @TimLaman. #Maine #mist #SUP #supexpedition
Photo by @amivitale / Lush, wild silky lupine flowers are a staple in Montana's Centennial Valley. Wildflowers are much more than just beautiful plants. They serve a purpose by providing protection from erosion and hiding places for small animals and birds. Silky lupine is an important fixer of nitrogen, allowing other plant species to thrive, and it attracts a large number of native bees. I hope we can embrace this moment, reimagining and reforging vital connections with each other and with the earth. Follow @amivitale for more stories about connections between humanity and nature. @nature_org @centennialvalleyassociation @thephotosociety @photography.for.good #bigskycountry #outwest #flowers #montana #conservation
Photo by @joelsartore / There are plenty of reasons people love cotton-top tamarins, and as a result, many end up in the illegal pet trade, and eventually in people’s homes. In many communities in Colombia (where this species resides) there is no distinction made between domestic and exotic wildlife, and some do not grasp how keeping a primate as a pet can be harmful to the survival of the species. Led by Nat Geo explorer Rosamira Gullien, @proyectotiti is working to reduce the number of native wildlife kept as pets in rural communities by encouraging families to adopt dogs and cats instead of cotton-top tamarins! By offering veterinary care and training classes, the team is helping communities bond with domestic animals, reducing their desire to have wildlife as pets. Photo taken @millerparkzoo. To see more species featured in the Photo Ark, follow me @joelsartore. #PhotoArk #savetogether
Photo by @williamalbertallard / Pendleton, Oregon, 1998. I had been asked to photograph an essay on the rodeo for National Geographic, and considering that I'd spent the previous decade focusing on the American West and the cowboy, I wondered whether I still could find visual inspiration. I soon discovered that, as with so many stories, no matter the country, the place, the event, or the people, the best pictures are often found around the edges. That’s where I saw Acosia Red Elk, mounted on her horse at the annual Pendleton Round-Up. Both she and her horse are draped in beautifully beaded buckskins, and behind her are some of the 300 teepees at the Native American tribal village set up behind the rodeo grandstands. Acosia Red Elk was competing in the American Indian Beauty Contest and she would soon take part in a parade of contestants. The simple gesture of Acosia looking over her shoulder, profiling her face against the darkly threatening sky, commands our attention. I have no idea who won that contest, but I’ve always been grateful for being present to witness this scene, this moment. For more images of the American West and other assignments spanning a five-decade career, follow me @williamalbertallard. #west #nativeamerican #rodeo #oregon
Photos by @carltonward / Deep in the Fakahatchee Stand in South Florida, conservationist Malia Byrtus sets and tests photo and video camera traps for our @pathofthepanther project. If all goes according to plan, a rare Florida panther will jump through the water on this flooded swamp trail, hopefully emulating Malia in the fourth frame. @PathofthePanther is a #LastWildPlaces Partnership with @InsideNatGeo. By revealing the story of the endangered Florida panther, we work to inspire the land conservation needed to save the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a statewide network of public and private lands. @fl_wildcorridor #keepflwild
Photo by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz / Youcan judge the age of a desert by its color, as it takes thousands of years for the iron minerals of each sand grain to oxidize into a ripe orange. The dunes of the Namib are among the oldest on Earth and stabilized by colonies of grass that are nurtured by the coastal fog and its dew. These are fragile ecosystems, with living cryptobiotic soils. They can be scarred by careless car tracks, but are now protected by a strict legal system that preserves them in perpetuity. To explore more of our world from above, follow @geosteinmetz.
Photo by @erintrieb / This October marks the 4th anniversary of the Iraq military's offensive and liberation of Mosul and surrounding areas, which from 2014-2016 were occupied and controlled by the Islamic State. Soldiers from Iraq’s Emergency Response Division stock up on rockets near the village of Bashmana, in preparation for an assault on ISIS-held territories. For more human stories from around the world follow @erintrieb.