A London-based photographer has spent two years travelling the world to capture the world’s endangered animals before humans destroy them.
Tim’s project explores just what difficulties the animals go through as a result of deforestation, hunting, eutrophication and other phenomena caused by human interference with the environment.
Here are some of the most striking images from the book Endangered:
First up is a Saiga Antelope – a slightly less well-known animal which is critically endangered.
The Saiga lives in the Eurasian Steppe area, which covers Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Mongolia, among others.
In order to catch the Saiga’s picture, he had to pursue the creature around the Caspian Sea during the summer.
I’m talking @zsllondonzoo this evening about how artists and scientists can work together to raise awareness of endangered species. Here’s the magnificent Saiga, who is relatively unknown and would probably feel at home in the cantina in Star Wars. #zsl #endangered #saiga #wildlife #wild #starwars #nature #antelope #timflach #photography #conservation #critical
Speaking to UNILAD, he said:
By the time we’d found where they congregated the heat had distorted the pictures, and my camera had actually broken.
Tim revealed how he waited in a hideout close to a water spot but said the summer temperatures distorted the images:
So we went back in the winter when it was -30C and I was lying down on the ground in sniper’s kit for three days using an 800mm lens, and finally got the shot.
It was a must-have picture because they’re not so well-known, (because they aren’t in zoos). They don’t do well in captivity.
It’s assumed we can put everything in zoos but we can’t.
Next, it’s the military macaw – one of the most sought-after parrot species in the world.
It’s currently thought around 78,000 birds are trapped each year for the illegal pet trade, with an estimated 10,000 left today in the wild, currently spread over a small area of Mexico.
The animal Tim photographed, which is in the most dire circumstances, was the white rhino, of which Tim captured a photo of the last surviving male:
Tim revealed to UNILAD:
Looking into the eye of the last male northern white rhino, the last of his species, does raise some questions about humans’ relationships with nature.
It makes you realise it’s never been more important for us to value and connect with nature and question how we do that.
One of the most important things is to understand just what is happening. Only then can we begin to enact political change.
We need to culturally redefine our connection with nature, we need to understand the stories, to create the political will.
We have to be smart about it, science can’t do that, but photography can create the emotional dimension which creates the will to change.
At a time when topics of the environment are questioned by world leaders, we need more people like Tim to help us realise just what a drastic effect we’re having on the planet.
These photos are just one way in which people can think about just what relationship they have with nature and how we can galvanise that knowledge into something more concrete for the future.