How would you feel about your existence if you knew that it was at the expense of other species. With the global population cresting at 7 billion people this year, human encroachment of land and consumption resources is threatening the wildlife of the world. Joel Sartore wants to raise awareness about this alarming reality through his Biodiversity Project.

For the last five years Sartore has been crisscrossing the United States, visiting the the zoos of the country. His goal is simple but daunting; photograph as many wild animal species as he can. Sartore wants us all to appreciate the beauty, complexity and diversity of the wildlife of the planet that exists as a result of millions of years of evolution.

Sartore’s method is strikingly simple. Photograph the animals on either a plain white or plain black backdrop. The effect is wonderfully egalitarian. Each animal, from the smallest beetle to biggest bear is seen in similar stature.

The Biodiversity Project compels us to consider species that we may not be aware of but that we have an absolute reliance on. Without realizing it we are destroying that which allows us to thrive, because if the planet were just made up of humans we too would soon become extinct.

Joel Sartore appears on Last Call with Carson Daly tonight, Tuesday April 3rd, to discuss the Biodiversity Project.

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