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Celebrating Wildlife Through Photography

4 Minute Read

The New Big 5 project is an international initiative to create a New Big 5 (#NewBig5) of wildlife: the Big 5 of photography, not hunting. Shooting with a camera, not a gun.

“What a great project the New Big 5 is. I wonder what the final choices will be? There are so many incredible animals in our world. Any project that brings attention to animals, so many of whom are threatened or endangered, is truly important.”
– Dr. Jane Goodall (The Jane Goodall Institute)

The New Big 5 project is a celebration of wildlife and wildlife photography. Supporters include Moby, Steve McCurry, Jane Goodall, Ami Vitale, and many others, and we want your opinion too! We’re asking people around the world to VOTE on the New Big 5 website for the 5 animals they want to be included in the New Big 5 of Wildlife Photography.

The New Big 5 will create a new ‘bucket list’ for travellers, photographers and wildlife lovers to see in their lifetimes. The project will run for 6 months. The results will be announced later in 2020.

The old big 5 was based on the 5 toughest animals in Africa for colonial hunters to shoot and kill. The New Big 5 of wildlife photography will include animals from all over the world, so it could include polar bears, orangutans, tigers, grizzly bears, gorillas, lions, elephants, wolves or others…

Which animals will make the New Big 5?

Elephant // Graeme Green

In 2020’s dark and difficult times, this is an exciting, positive project, a conversation starter, a way to get people young and old talking and engaged. But it has a serious message: the world’s wildlife is in crisis. The next 10 years are critical. More than a million species are currently at risk of extinction, from icons to ‘unsung heroes’ and little-known cats, frogs, birds, lizards and other species, each too valuable to lose.

There are only 7,100 cheetahs left in the wild. An estimated 55 African elephants per day are still being killed by poachers, one every 26 minutes. West African giraffes are down to just 600. African lions have dropped from 200,000 to 20,000 in just 50 years. Around 200,000 pangolins, the most trafficked mammal in the world, are being killed each year. Ethiopian wolves, Javan rhinos, aye-ayes, Amur leopards, hooded vultures, spider monkeys… The list of ‘Critically Endangered’ animals goes on.

“The New Big 5 initiative is a beautiful, poignant reminder that all of nature and all of life is threatened on this planet. We are on this planet together. We must all do everything we can to care for the plants and critters that inhabit the Earth. Our future happiness depends on all of them.”
– Ami Vitale (Photographer)

We want the New Big 5 project to focus attention on the world’s incredible wildlife and the urgent need to act together globally to save these animals, our planet and ourselves. On the New Big 5 website, there are podcasts and interviews, as well as articles on wildlife issues, from habitat loss to the illegal wildlife trade.

We’ve also produced an education Fun Pack for young people who are interested in wildlife, which can be downloaded for FREE from the website. The Fun Pack contains, quizzes, challenges, jokes from comedians (Russell Kane, Milton Jones, Seann Walsh…) and photos by Thomas D Mangelsen and Shannon Wild.

Who is part of the New Big 5 project?

Polar Bears // Thomas D Mangelsen

The New Big 5 project is an international initiative, supported by photographers from all over the world, including the United States, Kenya, China, United Kingdom, Peru, Germany, Tanzania, Lebanon, Japan, Spain, Canada, South Africa, France and Mexico.

As well as the world’s major wildlife organisations, we’re working with smaller international charities, indigenous groups and community-led projects, including HAkA, Youth4Nature, Strong Roots Congo, Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi and Ewaso Lions.

The project is not an anti-trophy hunting campaign (though we’re not fans of trophy hunting and don’t understand why people want to kill animals for fun). It’s a recognition of the fact that wildlife photography’s far more relevant to the world today than trophy hunting. The New Big 5 is a celebration of wildlife and a far better way to honour animals when they’re alive, rather than dead.

Meerkats // Jen Guyton

The initiative is supported by more than 100 of the world’s leading photographers, conservationists and wildlife lovers, including Dr. Jane Goodall, Ami Vitale, Moby, Steve McCurry, Steve Winter, Tim Laman, Art Wolfe, Brent Stirton, Djimon Hounsou, Marsel van Oosten, Bertie Gregory, Dr. Paula Kahumbu, Joanna Lumley, Joel Sartore, Sandesh Kadur, Greg du Toit, Daisy Gilardini, Thomas D Mangelsen, Jonathan and Angela Scott, Shaaz Jung, Pavan Sukhdev, Virginia McKenna, Nick Brandt, Ben Fogle, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Jen Guyton, Clement Wild, Will Burrard-Lucas, Eugenio Derbez, Levison Wood, and organisations, including Save The Elephants, WWF, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation, Wildlife SOS, Humane Society International, Orangutan Foundation, IUCN, Conservation International, Polar Bears International, HAkA, Wildlife Direct, Defenders Of Wildlife, Greenpeace, and more.

We have materials available for use in articles, including Q&As, comments, articles and photography, from people supporting the project, including Ami Vitale, Tim Laman, Nick Brandt, Steve Winter, Shaaz Jung, Marina Cano, Xi Zhinong, Dr. Jane Goodall, Iain Douglas-Hamilton and more.

The Founder of the New Big 5 project, British wildlife photographer and journalist Graeme Green, is available for interviews or to write articles on the project or wildlife-related issues.

Social Links & Contact

Instagram @newbig5project
Twitter @newbig5project
[email protected]

Voices From The Field – ATTA is providing this space for the benefit of our members for building awareness within our community. The views and opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily ATTA’s, nor do we endorse them by their publication.

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