Each year, numerous presenters come together to explore how photography and video are impacting conservation efforts around the globe at the International League of Conservation Photographers’ WILDspeak Symposium, November 15 & 16, 2016, in Washington, D.C. This year, Lucas Bustamante joins the group of talented presenters to discuss the Amphibians and Reptiles of Ecuador.
Biologist and conservation photographer Lucas Bustamante discovered photography as a conservation tool as an undergraduate studying biology. He’s the author of the field guide, “The Amphibians and Reptiles of Mindo,” and three scientific articles describing new species to science. He’s working on another field guide, “The Amphibians and Reptiles of Ecuador,” and plans to publish a coffee table book on the Amphibians and Reptiles of Ecuador to show the beauty, endemism, importance and threats of these creatures. In 2009, he cofounded Tropical Herping, of which he serves as the photographic director, to preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians through ecotourism, photography, education and research. “Using photography as a translator of science is the best way to show people what they have in their backyards and to raise awareness about environmental problems,” Bustamante explains.
At WILDSpeak 2016, Bustamante will discuss the launch of Tropical Herping seven years ago and how he and his team have used photography to bring the importance of the conservation of amphibians and reptiles before those who can help make a difference. “Just in my home country of Ecuador, there are more than 1,000 formally described species, and at least 200 more are still waiting to be discovered,” he says. “Sadly, these animals are so vulnerable to climate change, deforestation, emerging illness and alien species introduction, and are sometimes the first ones that can disappear in disturbed ecosystems. With photography and documental storytelling, I show these problems to NGOs, government departments and particular companies, in order to start raising projects and funds to protect them, Again, conservation photography did it: This time with a non well-known group of animals, but at the same time a very important group.”
WiLDspeak—A Symposium on Photography, Conservation & Communications
November 15 & 16, 2016
Carnegie Institution for Science
1530 P Street, NW Washington D.C. 20005