Meet our newest Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellows Who are Working to Protect Some of the Most Unique and Endangered Species in Asia

by ZSL on

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and the National Geographic Society are pleased to announce the second cohort of National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellows. These 13 conservationists will work with Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) species in Asia featured in the Photo Ark to help bring them back from the brink of extinction.

The National Geographic Photo Ark uses the power of photography to inspire people to help save species at risk before it’s too late. Photo Ark founder Joel Sartore has photographed more than 9,000 species around the world as part of a multiyear effort to document every species living in zoos and wildlife sanctuaries, inspire action through education and help save wildlife by supporting on-the-ground conservation efforts.

The National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships leverage the power of Sartore’s captivating portraits to bring attention to the global extinction crisis. They also help to put effective tools into the hands of conservationists working to turn the tide for species at risk. The National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships launched in 2018 with a cohort of five Fellows based in Latin America.

The following candidates based in Asia have been nominated as the second cohort of National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellows due to their track records and demonstrated commitment to species conservation. They are:

  • Adrian Lyngdoh, India: Bengal slow loris, Nycticebus bengalensis (IUCN Red List: Vulnerable);
  • Alifa Haque, Bangladesh: Largetooth sawfish, Pristis pristis (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered);
  • Ashish Bashyal, Nepal: Gharial, Gavialis gangeticus (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered);
  • Ayushi Jain: Cantor’s giant softshell turtle, Pelochelys cantorii (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • David Quimpo, Philippines: Rufous-headed hornbill, Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered);
  • Ginelle Gacasan, Philippines: Green turtle, Chelonia mydas (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Ha Hoang, Vietnam: Big-headed turtle, Platysternon megacephalum (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Hanh Ngo, Vietnam: Chinese crocodile lizard, Shinisaurus crocodilurus (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Jailabdeen A, India: Gharial, Gavialis gangeticus (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered);
  • Jonathan Phu, Malaysia: Green turtle, Chelonia mydas (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Moumita Chakraborty, India: Red panda, Ailurus fulgens (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Otgontuya Batsuuri, Mongolia: Siberian crane, Leucogeranus leucogeranus (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered).
  • Ranjana Bhatta, Nepal: Gharial, Gavialis gangeticus (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered).

Earlier this year, the candidates attended a four-week “Conservation Tools” training course in Borneo. The training included a National Geographic Sciencetelling Bootcamp where the candidates learned from world-class National Geographic photographer Anand Varma as well as National Geographic editors and digital video producers. These expert storytellers taught the candidates how to showcase their work through captivating photos, compelling video and stories written from the field.

Picture of twelve people holding up posters of Asian EDGE species whilst standing on steps with a grassy backgruond

Through a series of lectures, hands-on practical’s and assessments, ZSL scientists taught participants four core areas: the principles of conservation biology, ecological monitoring, social science surveying techniques and applied conservation action. These essential skills enable EDGE Fellows to undertake effective conservation projects. Following this training, with ongoing mentorship and support from ZSL and the National Geographic Society, the National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellows will now undertake a two-year Fellowship project on their focal species.

Picture of people fitting a camera trap to a tree in a rainforest

Visit NatGeoPhotoArk.org for updates on the program, and to find out more about EDGE species and ZSL’s EDGE of Existence programme, go to www.edgeofexistence.org.

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