Help Save the Amazon Dolphin!

An Amazon River Dolphin or
An Amazon River Dolphin, or "Boto," swims through the flooded forest canopy with her calf.

Five years ago, I photographed a story for National Geographic Magazine on Amazon River Dolphins ("Botos" in Portuguese). It was a thrilling project, a chance to tell the story of a remarkable animal that most people had never heard of, living in the flooded forests of the Amazon. At the time, these dolphins were abundant,largely left alone due to a long-held attitude about them as animals of myth and enchantment. Now, all that has changed.
For several years now, these peaceful animals have been increasingly hunted for their meat, but not for human consumption: they are killed and dismembered to serve as bait for a huge, commercially valuable catfish known as the Piracatinga. This is inexcusable, and many people in Brazil have been working to get the government to intervene. They have recently done so, declaring a five-year moratorium on the fishery. But as it is, the ban will not take effect until 2015, allowing thousands of dolphins to be killed before it does.
Having helped bring these dolphins to the attention of the world in the pages of National Geographic, I feel a personal responsibility to support efforts to protect them. I have donated pictures to support this effort and money to fuel the campaign. I hope you will join me.
Learn more about the issue here: www.theredalert.org (Click on the Language button at the top of their page)
And while you're at it, please sign the petition to stop the slaughter on Change.org. There is a link at the bottom of the RedAlert page. (Again, choose your language at the bottom of the Change.org page)

Thank you for making your voice heard and doing whatever you can.

Kevin Schafer

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2 Comments

    I somtimes struggle with displaying photos of untouched wilderness or endangered, threatened, or rarely seen wildlife. I believe that people seeing these photos will start to think they are plentiful with each photo they view… not understanding the length the photographers went to to get the photo. Even more disturbing are photoshoped photos that remove signs of man and or add wildlife to the landscape. As outdoor photographers wildlife preservation and habitat protection should be a top propriety. I am personally active in trying to save wolves. I have even named my Facebook page for photography “Black Wolf Photography” to help raise awareness. Lets not forget that the people that most cherish the animals and places are some of the best customers of our photography. To get some of my work seen by more people I have donated a few photos to “Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf”… just one of many ways to get involved and help. I hope that the dolphins are arround long enough for other generations to see and even photograph them.

    Joseph, I share your concern about images that portray nature as untouched and unaffected by humans. In a sense, we, as photographers, are often guilty of trying to capture a world as we wish it were, not as it is. I applaud your efforts to use your photography to support wolf conservation. We all have valuable tools at our disposal – our cameras – that we should put in service of issues we care about.

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