First Wildlife Photos in National Geographic
Photograph by George ShirasThe July 1906 issue of National Geographic featured its first ever wildlife photographs. Editor Gil Grosvenor printed 74 photos snapped by U.S. Representative and early conservationist George Shiras, beginning a long tradition of featuring wildlife photos in the magazine.
Jane Goodall With Chimp
Photograph by Michael NicholsPrimatologist Jane Goodall bends forward as Jou Jou, a chimpanzee, reaches out to her in Brazzaville, Congo. Goodall revolutionized primatology with her 1960s studies at Tanzania’s Gombe Stream Game Reserve, where she observed chimpanzees making and using tools, a landmark discovery in wildlife studies.
First Snow Leopard Photograph
Photograph by Dr. George B. SchallerPhotographed by Dr. George Schaller in the early 1970s, the first shots of snow leopards in the wild include this female Panthera uncia perched on a snowy crag in Pakistan's Chitral Valley. National Geographic published the first photographs of snow leopards in the wild in its November 1971 issue.
Photograph by Jim BrandenburgIn Canada’s northernmost reaches, an arctic wolf gingerly tests the water near Ellesmere Island. As polar exploration heated up in the early 20th century, first with Robert Peary’s North Pole expedition and then with Roald Amundsen’s South Pole trek, audiences demanded photographs of the new lands and their creatures.
Siberian Tiger Conservation
Photograph by Dr. Maurice HornockerUsing biotelemetry, scientist and photographer Maurice Hornocker, with Howard Quigley, drafted a landmark conservation plan to save endangered Siberian tigers such as Koucher and Niurka, the captive cats pictured here in Gayvoron, Russia. By means of instruments such as GPS, cameras, and transceivers, biotelemetry helps scientists remotely monitor threatened species.
Hawaiian Monk Seal With Crittercam
Photograph by Greg MarshallA Hawaiian monk seal rests on the sand, seemingly unaware of the Crittercam attached to its back. Developed by National Geographic's Greg Marshall in 1986, Crittercam is a camera system that collects video, sound, and environmental data and allows scientists to remotely observe animal behavior and see the world from the animals' perspectives.
Tiger Snapped by Camera Trap
Photograph by Michael NicholsA camera trap snapped this picture of a tiger cooling off in a watering hole in Bandhavgarh National Park, India. Consisting of an unmanned camera set on auto and tripped by an animal crossing an infrared beam, camera traps allow wildlife experts and photographers to track numbers of endangered species and get pictures of elusive animals at close range.
Photograph by Beverly JoubertBending in graceful unison, six lionesses drink from a watering hole in Savuti, Botswana, where conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert have lived for more than 25 years, exploring, researching, and filming wildlife. Decades of life in the African wild have earned the Jouberts unprecedented access to wildlife, which they share with others through books, films, and lectures.
Crocodile by Camera Trap
Photograph by Michael NicholsA remotely operated camera trap captures the tail end of a crocodile slinking to its den in Zakouma National Park, Chad. Triggered by infrared sensors tripped by the movement of a passing animal, camera traps have evolved from the trip-wire photography George Shiras pioneered in the late 1880s to high-tech digital traps with greater storage and memory capacity.
Photograph by Frans LantingCement skies over Luangwa Valley, Zambia, set off a string of ruby-plumed carmine bee-eaters perched on a branch. Over the years, the National Geographic Society has supported many ornithological studies, from George Shiras’s Migratory Bird Treaty, a critical piece of conservation legislation, to Ernest Holt’s expedition to South America to research and photograph more than 3,000 birds representing 486 species.