Ronald Reagan Bldg -- Exhibit (Inside): Wildlife Without Borders photo show:
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Description of Pictures: A Climate For Life: An Exhibition:
No One Doubts that the world environment is under severe stress from pollution, diminishing resources, destruction of habitat, and the extinction of species. Climate change threatens to accelerate and amplify these problems knowing what to do is complicated by the interconnection of thousands of factors and millions of species.
How do we secure our future? Where do we begin?
One answer is forests.
Protecting forests is the fastest and one of the most cost-effective ways we have of addressing the climate crisis. The burning and clearing of tropical forests contributes more of the carbon emissions driving climate change than all the world's cars, trucks, planes, trains and ships combined. Halting their destruction is crucial to meeting the challenge of climate change.
And forests do so much more than sequester carbon and moderate temperature. They provide shelter and life for countless species and livelihoods for millions. They regular water tables and atmospheric moisture. Forests are the living, breathing guardians of the planet and their healthy profoundly affects us all.
Conservation international, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the International League of Conservation Photographers are proud to present this collection of extraordinary images, taken by some the world's finest photographers, as testament to the treasures that surround us, the dangers of inaction, and the pivotal role of forests and healthy ecosystems in supporting the well-being of humanity.
Who Speaks for Forests?
These photographs, taken by members of the International League of Conservation Photographers, remind us of the beauty and majesty of nature, as well as the consequences of forest destruction. Without that help, many of the remaining forests will eventually vanish.
Conservation International and the US Fish and Wildlife Service urge you to get involved. Speak for the forests. Visit them at www.conservation.org and www.fws.gov to learn more and see what you can do to help.
Human Element: Humans and Forests are increasingly dependent upon one another for survival.
Population growth creates pressure to clear forests for new homes and arable land. Refugees from wars and droughts strip forests as they gather fuel for cooking and warmth. Wood is harvested in unsustainable ways for lumber and paper. Industrial agriculture claims massive expanses for foods and biofuels.
The lost of forest lands affects more than just the trees are cut down. Erosion and drought often follow, robbing us of soil, releasing CO2 in abundance, and curtailing the production of oxygen. Surrounding temperatures fluctuate dramatically, affecting all nearby life. And without their natural habitat, species disappear.
Increasingly, people are coming to the aid of forests, conserving lands, replanting trees, and adopting sustainable logging. But the irony is that while we need forests for our survival, the forests would get along just fine without us.
Regions and Species:
We Think of Forests as defined spaces whose influence is felt and whose loss is experiences only locally. The truth is clearly otherwise.
Forests affect far more than simply the land upon which they stand, and the destruction of forests has a rippling effect that spreads out around the world.
Many species of plants and animals are unique not just to a forest habitat, but to a forest habitat in a specific location. Clearing forests reduces biodiversity, lowering the odds that remaining species will survive, and robbing us of unique compounds that might have been developed into life-giving medicines.
The human effect is no less dramatic. Violence often accompanies widespread forest clearing and people who previously depended on forests for their sustenance and livelihoods often descend into poverty, forced to migrate far from their former homes.
Forests don't exist within climates; they are climates.
Fifty percent of the rain that falls in a rainforest comes from the forest itself through evaporation and expiration. Reforestation, while laudable, never achieves the level of biodiversity, from the soil to the canopy, which existed within the original forest. And the intricate balance of all life within a forest is as complex -- and certainly as fragile -- as that in a coral reef or a high desert plateau.
Mangroves and peat forests, increasingly rare and fast disappearing, actually store more carbon below ground than in the trees above.
The loss of a forest, however, is far more than a local event. The CO2 released in clearing a Malaysian forest helps raise the atmospheric temperature worldwide, melting the glaciers in Patagonia and raising the sea level in Miami.
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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks including AI scrapers can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
BORDER_091106_021.JPG: Clean Drinking Water:
Cambodian children celebrate the first day that clean water flows from a well in their village. Climate change is depleting fresh water, with changes in precipitation patterns and the melting of glaciers. The US has supported conservation in Cambodia for nearly a decade. Through the Wildlife Without Borders Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service works to provide opportunities for Cambodians to protect their natural resources.
BORDER_091106_029.JPG: Indigenous Partners:
The Kayapo Indians of the Brazilian Amazon have a rich ritual life. Here, the men prepare for a hunt, lead by chief Pukatiri. The Kayapo are stewards of a large tract of Amazonian rain forest. They have chosen to conserve this forest, which otherwise could be logged or burned, keeping millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
BORDER_091106_036.JPG: Sumatran Rhinos:
Sumatran rhinos, normally solitary animals, stay cool by covering themselves with wet mud. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has, for more than a decade, supported rhino population units which include members of the local community, around Way Kambas and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Parks to watch over Sumatran rhinos. Without this effort, it is likely that Sumatra's rhinos would not exist today.
BORDER_091106_046.JPG: Clear Cutting for Palm Oil:
The conversion of Borneo's native forests to oil palm releases an enormous amount of carbon into the atmosphere and destroys the habitat of many species, including orangutans. Most of the world's remaining orangutans can be found on Borneo, where the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Without Borders Program has supported efforts to reduce illegal deforestation.
BORDER_091106_053.JPG: Siberian Tiger:
Siberian tigers are critically endangered due to habitat loss and intensive illegal hunting. The US Fish and Wildlife Service collaborates with Russia and China to support the conservation of Siberian Tigers through the establishment of protected areas and trans-boundary corridors. By supporting the collection of snares in the forests of East Asia, the Wildlife Without Borders Program has reduced the impact of illegal hunting.
BORDER_091106_063.JPG: Red Crowned Cranes in Flight:
Red crowned cranes take flight in snow-covered forests. The Wildlife Without Borders program helps to conserve important wildlife habitat in Mongolia such as the freshwater marshes, rivers, and coastal marshes on which the red crowned cranes depend. The program brings together American and Chinese biologists for collaborative implementation of wildlife conservation and education programs in China.
BORDER_091106_072.JPG: Polar Trouble:
A polar bear submerged in Lancaster Sound. The continuous loss of sea-ice on which polar bears forage increasingly threatens their survival. The US Fish and Wildlife Service collaborates closely with Canada and Russia on the issue of polar bear conservation. This fall, the first meeting of the Russian-US Polar Bear Commission will be held in Moscow to plan conservation of polar bear habitat.
BORDER_091106_080.JPG: Sea Turtles
BORDER_091106_086.JPG: Forest Ecosystems:
A spectacled bear feeds on bromeliads in the cloud forest of the Andes. Cloud forests will be among the first ecosystems disrupted by climate change. To protect South America's only species of bear, the Wildlife Without Borders Program has supported regional conservation efforts in Colombia and Ecuador. By bringing together scientists in both countries, the program has facilitated better conservation planning for the Andean bear.
BORDER_091106_101.JPG: Freshwater Features:
With a 108-meeting drop inches away, a swimmer stands at a hidden pool accessible only when the Zambezi River runs low. Southern Africa faces a dire situation, with several studies predicting a 10 percent drop in rainfall by 2050. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, through its Wildlife Without Borders Program, has invested more than $1.7 million in conservation efforts in Zambia. Partner organizations, many based in Zambia, have contributed an additional $3.3 million.
BORDER_091106_110.JPG: Mangrove Nurseries:
A lemon shark pup takes refuge in a mangrove nursery in Bimini, Bahamas. Mangroves provide habitat for countless species and serve as nurseries for fish. They also help shield the shoreline from storm surges. In 2009, the US Fish and Wildlife Service supported conservation training for local marine resources managers who are learning to quickly evaluate the health of near shore and onshore ecosystems in the Bahamas.
BORDER_091106_123.JPG: Climate Refugees:
Refugees from Myanmar wait for a delivery of fish meal at a camp on the border with Thailand. One of the most serious side effects of climate change is the displacement of people who are forced to migrate to survive. Through the Wildlife Without Borders Program, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has supported conservation efforts in Myanmar since 2001.
BORDER_091106_129.JPG: Brazilian Nut Tree:
The Brazilian nut tree is now protected in Brazil. A few survivors of prior logging now stand alone in harvested soy fields and are doomed to eventual death. Massive deforestation taking place in forests like the Amazon contributes at least 20 percent of all carbon emissions every year to the atmosphere.
BORDER_091106_139.JPG: Amazon Burning:
Enormous fires are ignited every year to clear the rainforest jungle for soy bean plantations around Santarem in the Brazilian Amazon. Working with landowners and local communities is a critical step towards promoting wise use of land resources. For this reason, the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Wildlife Without Borders Program has provided funding for conservation education projects in Brazil for more than two decades.
BORDER_091106_149.JPG: Wildlife and War:
The Republic of Congo is home to one of the largest remaining population of these endangered animals. Sadly, the gorillas' home is a war zone under constant threat from poachers. With funding support from the Wildlife Without Borders Program, a US Fish and Wildlife Service initiative, field researchers have been surveying gorillas in order to assess current trends in their conservation and management.
BORDER_091106_157.JPG: Healthy Mangroves:
Mangrove roots shelter many species, like this starfish in Tunicate Cove in Belize. They also benefit human populations by buffering fluctuating sea levels. Rising sea levels linked to global warming threaten mangrove forests around the globe. The Wildlife Without Borders Program, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, has supported the conservation of Belize's mangrove forests since 2002.
BORDER_091106_166.JPG: Freshwater Habitats:
Pirapitanga fish school together in a clear-water stream in the Cerrado region of Brazil. The Cerrado, or Brazilian savanna, represents 23 percent of the land surface of the country. This important biome, however, has been subjected to rapid rates of land conservation to agriculture and pasture. This has important environmental consequences to local and regional climate change.
BORDER_091106_173.JPG: Blue Footed Boobies:
The Wildlife Without Borders Program supports conservation of species such as the blue-footed booby which migrate between the United States, Mexico, and the tropics. Since 1995, the program has supported over $8 million in capacity building projects for wildlife conservation and has leveraged over $25 million in matching funds for partner organizations.
BORDER_091106_185.JPG: Healthy Watersheds:
Ecuador's San Rafael Falls tumble through the Amazon Basin. Reforestation can be used to restore watersheds and reduce erosion, but the benefits provided by intact forests can never be replaced. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has supported thirteen conservation projects in Ecuador since 2001 that build capacity for managing natural resources, including efforts to protect watersheds which provide safe drinking water.
BORDER_091106_193.JPG: Tropical Refugees:
A muriqui monkey and baby traverse the Atlantic rain forest in Brazil. Climate change will likely cause an increase in the duration and intensity of drought in the Atlantic Forest. The Wildlife Without Borders Program has provided over $600,000 for conservation in Brazil, including the protection of the Atlantic forest. These investments have leveraged nearly $6 million in additional funds from partner organizations.
BORDER_091106_202.JPG: Drying Ecosystems:
Baby African elephants follow their mother across a river. Elephants are most at risk from poachers, but climate change and encroachment by human settlements both pose serious threats. Since 1994, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has supported projects throughout Africans forests and savannas to help protect elephants. Recently, these projects have helped elephants return to their former range in parts of Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, and Malawi.
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