Attention All Divers! - ARKive needs your images
Contributed by Tim Hochgrebe
ARKive is calling on divers and underwater photographers for
their help in gathering images of all the world's threatened marine animals
ARKive promotes conservation and builds environmental awareness through wildlife
photographs, films and sound clips - which are being pledged by many of the
world's top photographers and filmmakers. The aim is to produce a global, centralized
record of all 16,928 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This
will provide an invaluable conservation tool - a quick, easy and free online
source of information for anyone keen to learn more or to help with conservation
and photographs are an emotive, powerful and effective means of building environmental
awareness. They bring every species to life and demonstrate quickly and simply
what makes them so special. Thinking about the non-divers - would they know
what the Indonesian speckled carpet shark looks like, does it really have speckles?
Does a spotted hand-fish really have hands? And what on earth is a Banggai cardinalfish
or a seadragon?
Many divers, amateur and professional alike, take fabulous photographs of a
broad range of threatened species, so this is an opportunity to work with ARKive
and help the wide variety of amazing animals and plants that give pleasure to
so many divers. Photographs and video give these threatened species a face,
they give those who won't ever be lucky enough to see them in the wild the chance
to understand their characteristics, their biology and the threats they are
Threatened marine species make up just ten percent of the current material
held in ARKive, reflecting just how hard these films and photographs are to
collect, so the divers underwater images are urgently needed to help fill the
watery gaps in the rapidly growing library.
TV presenter and passionate diver, Kate Humble, is a keen supporter of ARKive.
"I love that first plunge, the first glimpse through the mask of the underwater
world," says Kate. "And I know I am privileged to have experienced the ocean's
depths, many others are not so fortunate. So I encourage divers to donate their
images to give ARKive the best means possible in their quest to raise awareness
for the world's underwater creatures." Her celebrity scrapbook on the ARKive
website focuses on diving and includes some of the species she has been lucky
enough to see whilst underwater for pleasure and work (such as when filming
Professional shark photographer and regular ARKive contributor Andy Murch says,
"Many of my shark images have been used in conservation campaigns to help push
through legislation aiming to protect animals at risk. It's hard to raise support
for an animal that has no face in the media and good images can make a huge
difference. I feel ARKive is a shining example of what can be done to bring
attention to the plight of the world's endangered species. A
project of this size is too large for individual photographers to take on but
it is an obvious cause for us to contribute to."
The ARKive team are searching for a huge variety of marine materials and are
keen to see the photograph captured from the cage when the diver comes face
to jaws with a huge great white off South Africa or South Australia. They too
will be mesmerised by the classic silhouette of swirling hammerheads filmed
whilst gazing up into the clear blue waters of the Pacific. From the mighty
pelagics that every diver longs to witness and photograph, right down to the
camouflaged and almost impossible to see pygmy seahorses of the Pacific Ocean,
ARKive is interested in them all - and the more unusual and obscure the species,
A list of the 'most wanted' images is published on the ARKive website www.arkive.org
and to check out if your species appears on the Red List see www.redlist.org. Anyone wishing to donate images can e-mail ARKiive's media research team - firstname.lastname@example.org,
or upload to www.flickr.com/groups/arkive using the tag 'marine'.
So far around 38,000 films and images have been given a safe-haven in the ARKive
digital vault. More than 3,000 media donors are actively contributing to the
project, from major broadcasters, film and photo libraries to conservation organizations
and academic institutes, as well as many individual filmmakers and photographers.
All media is donated freely on the understanding that it will be used as a resource
for scientists, conservationists, educators and the general public, and not
for commercial purposes.
- ARKive is a not-for-profit initiative of Wildscreen, a UK-based charity
whose mission is to promote conservation through wildlife imagery.