What Can I Do? - Michael Burke

What Can I Do?

January 24, 2020

It’s impossible to see and not be affected by the wrenching scenes of devastation and loss of wildlife in Australia. Or the carcass of an adult elephant killed for its tusks. Or to read about the death of the last male northern white rhino in the world, dooming the species to extinction. So I asked myself - what can I do about it?

Whenever I capture a great image of a wild animal in its natural habitat, I feel incredibly lucky to have taken the photograph. And incredibly disturbed by the possibility that my grandchildren may never have the opportunity to see some of these magnificent creatures in the wild.

For starters, I’ve decided to raise money for the World Wildlife Fund, and have set up a donation page. In addition, I plan to hold photo exhibitions as fundraisers in the Seattle area using some of my favorite images.

I am not selling my images; rather, I’m using them to create awareness of the obligation we all have to protect wild animals and their habitat. If you know a retail store or coffee shop in the Seattle area that would like some striking images of wildlife to hang on their walls in support of the World Wildlife Fund, please let me know.

I’ve supported conservation efforts for a long time, but something about this current moment in history feels like a siren call to action. While this post is a clear departure from my usual reports about our travels, I plan to continue photographing these majestic creatures with the goal of inspiring folks to take action to preserve the incredible biodiversity of our planet.

It’s one of the things I can do.

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