Voices for Biodiversity

Amphibians

To see a photo of a tiny glass frog, perched on a leaf peering curiously back at the viewer, one would think that Robin Moore has been a photographer all his life. In reality, Robin has only been taking these professional-quality photos for a little more than five years. He purchased his first digital SLR camera about five years ago, before his first trip to Haiti with Conservation International (CI), and began photographing the landscapes and wildlife he found there. The photo story of his trip that he compiled for a CI photography contest won first place, and his colleagues began asking him to photograph frogs and other amphibians for the organization's campaigns.

His new hobby has since evolved to become an element of his job description, which is part amphibian conservation, part public relations – his photographs of both common and rare frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders are scattered throughout the CI website, especially on the Search for Lost Frogs. Robin has found that pairing these images with the organization's initiatives has really engaged the people who fund these missions. "People are fascinated by amphibians," he says, "but translating that to empathy is challenging." He hopes to overcome that challenge by telling stories through his photographs, which feature both wildlife and the people who live in the areas that the organization aims to protect.

Robin's work has taken him to the fragile ecosystems of Central and South America, Haiti, Africa, and Southeast Asia. There, he has captured the faces of locals who toil in the fields or sell their wares on the streets, as well as the myriad species of wildlife that share these lands. However, gaining support for his organization's programs is not the only motivation for Robin. He is passionate about exploring people's relationships with nature and believes that reconnecting people with the natural world will benefit conservation efforts everywhere.

Despite the destruction of rainforests, the drought and soil erosion, and the natural disasters that threaten way of life for people and animals, Robin is hopeful about the future of these wild places. He has discovered new species and rediscovered other species thought to be long extinct, and local communities taking ownership of conservation projects have led to improved human welfare and thriving protected areas. He would like to venture to East Africa on his own someday to photograph the colorful wildlife, landscapes and people that make the region special.

You can see more of Robin's photography at www.robindmoore.com.

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Jessica Gottlieb
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