September 4th is National Wildlife Day, a chance to pause and celebrate the natural world around us.  It’s the perfect opportunity to revel in the preservation and conservation efforts around the world to maintain animal habitats for their survival and our own. Although President Nixon passed a law protecting threatened and endangered species from extinction in 1973 as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation,” much still remains to be done.  For example, as 5 million acres of the Amazon rainforest burns, we must understand how fires of this magnitude have far reaching consequences for us all.  In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

Here are my top 10 favorite wildlife conservation Instagram accounts:

  1. Earth Alliance is a nonprofit organization co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio to face environmental threats head on in an effort to save our planet.

 

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@Ian_Urbina has spent the past several years reporting on lawlessness at sea, in #TheOutlawOcean project. His journalistic endeavor focuses on the ⅔ of the planet covered by water. It’s an investigative exploration of the diversity of crimes that occur offshore including the murder of stowaways, arms trafficking, illegal fishing, pollution, dumping, drilling and human slavery on fishing ships. We are excited to highlight some of the most urgent ocean issues as they play out globally, including Urbina’s mission to increase the sense of urgency of what happens at sea, both above and below the waterline, by raising awareness and broadening the public’s understanding. … Follow along for the collaboration series from ‘The Outlaw Ocean’. For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/outlawoceanbook . . . . . . #TheOutlawOcean #HighSeas #BBNJ #internationalwaters #ocean #oceancrime #oceanconservation #discoverocean #illegalfishing #IUU #IUUfishing #trafficking #pollution #oceanpollution #drilling #fishing #sea

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  1. The National Park Service was founded in 1916 to help manage our national parks with an eye toward land conservation and the preservation of native animal species.

  1. The official account of the the U.S. Department of the Interior is another amazing feed devoted to the celebration of our National Parks and the wildlife who call those parks home.

 

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A young desert kit plays to learn valuable lessons at Death Valley National Park in #California. These cat-sized #foxes have many adaptations to help them survive the harsh weather in the #desert. Fluffy feet provide insulation from the scalding ground, and big ears help radiate heat from their blood, keeping them cool. The desert #kitfox rarely drinks water getting most of their hydration from the food they eat. Primarily active at night spending most of the day lounging in their below-ground dens. As with most fox species, both parents play an active role in raising the young. Photos of fox kit and parents courtesy of Christopher Brinkman (@brinkmanph). #usinterior #cutewildanimals #deathvalleynps

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  1. The Nature Conservancy is a worldwide conservation organization concerned with the preservation of animals on land and in our seas.

  1. I love the BBC Earth account with their breathtaking photographs of animals and their habitats around the world.

  1. The Sierra Club is our nation’s largest, grassroots environmental organization. Founded in 1892 by John Muir, a Scottish-American preservationist, and San Francisco Bay Area resident. Their Instagram feed is all about saving the planet.

  1. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust was founded in Kenya in 1977 to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned elephants and rhinos. Their work has expanded now to include giraffes and is all about habitat preservation for these amazing animal species.

 

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We’re all in love with Lili! After a 22-month pregnancy, Loijuk gave birth to her first calf yesterday morning. She wasted no time in introducing us to her little bundle of joy and, needless to say, everyone is thoroughly smitten with her. Even after they’ve returned to the wild, the orphans we rescue — like Loijuk — are so gracious with their human family, never forgetting the love and care they received during their time of need. September is the peak of the dry season in Tsavo, which can be less than ideal conditions to raise a tiny calf, so we are particularly delighted that Loijuk has chosen to return close to home. Things will get easier when the rains break, probably in early November, but in the meantime we will be on-hand to supplement her diet when she visits. The additional lucerne and plentiful water will help her maintain her good condition and keep her milk bar full for little Lili. Lualeni will also have lots of assistance thanks to good friends like Naserian and Ithumbah, who are already very eager to showcase their nannying skills. Things have really come full circle for Loijuk, who was orphaned 13 years ago during the drought. Our founder Daphne Sheldrick always found treasured moments like these the most rewarding — and they bring home the full impact of her extraordinary legacy, the tiny footsteps of the next generations of wild-born babies, whose lives are testament to her remarkable work. _________ Photos © David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust #SheldrickTrust #DSWT #Loijuk #Lili #🐘 #elephants #kenya #whyilovekenya #bekindtoelephants #rescue #adopt

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  1. Love the oceans and the creatures who call them home? Then you must follow the Ocean Conservancy, an organization devoted to the preservation of our oceans and their inhabitants.

  1. While there are numerous, amazing wildlife photographers on Instagram, two of my favorites have accounts that are not just filled with jaw-dropping images, but devoted to wildlife conservation efforts around the globe. Beverly Joubert produces African wildlife documentaries.

  1. And Paul Nicklen, the co-founder of Sea Legacy, is undoubtedly one of the best conservation photographers in the world with many of his images documenting wildlife habitats in the north and south poles.

 

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Scroll through the pictures. Throughout my 17 years of shooting for National Geographic, I often worked alone, or with perhaps a guide and perhaps an assistant. We worked in some of the most remote locations on the planet in some of the worst conditions. However, as @sealegacy grows and thrives, a model that has begun proving itself to work very well is to bring super cool, philanthropic and supportive people with us in the field. This way, the work gets funded, we all go home with life changing experiences and best of all, the work drives conservation. I never thought it would work but I have been proven wrong. There are more cool people out there wanting to get involved than I ever thought possible. Going forward, we are going to be opening up a couple of trips each year where people who want to help fund our field expeditions get to come. These are people who not only want to help fund the expedition but who want to be part of the team. Sadly, there won’t be any hand holding on these expeditions. This is the real deal; on the front lines and in the thick of it. Not every expedition is for everyone. Some are miserable, freezing, challenging and just too difficult for many. But there are others where we head out and work hard all day but come home to a nice a hotel or a nice liveaboard at the end of the day. We have a nice cooked meal, sleep our eight hours and then get to to it again. To learn more about these expeditions, go to @sealegacy.org and sign up for our newsletter. This December, we are going back to film sperm whales underwater in Dominica (space for two people only) and then we are putting together an expedition to photograph and film humpback whales in the Dominican Republic in March 2020(space for 6 people). We keep these groups small and intimate. In the future we will be doing spirit bears, polar bears, coral reefs, big sharks, Raja Ampst and the list goes on. Please follow along for more details. #expedition #nature #adventure #conservation

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Julie Bond

Julie Bond is a voracious reader with eclectic tastes running the gamut from YA lit, to psychological suspense, and anything dog-related, of course. You can find her haunting her favorite San Francisco Bay Area indie bookstores. Email her at ObsessiveBookFanatic@gmail.com

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