Lygodactylus luteopicturatus

11 mark infield gecko JPG

When it comes to conservation on a global scale there are not so many players that can be proud of so many achievements as Fauna & Flora International can. As with any other organisation the success comes from the people behind it.

In my case I’ll stop at Mr. Mark Infield – zoologist. Last year he wrote a beautiful article about geckos and conservation, a 5 min. read that I invite you all to do:

All geckos great and small

After reading it I sent Mark an e-mail asking if he want’s to share a photo of gecko and a short story  with us. We has very kind and sent this great photo of a pair of dwarf yellow headed geckos. He mentioned in the e-mail:

” I am neither a gecko expert or a photographer but as I said in my blog, since leaving the cold climes of England for the tropics, geckos have been part of my daily life. They were not a subject of research or part of my work, they were part of the homes and offices I occupied. Now that I am back in England again, I miss their chirping and clicking and mechanical scurrying across walls and ceilings.”

This is the power of the geckos !

you can read more about Mark on his Fauna & Flora International page : Mark Infield  

and don’t miss his latest article about what we really need to get involved  : Is love really all we need ?

Uroplatus phantasticus

I saved the best part for the finish. Since conservation is such a hot topic now and because Bjorn is so actively involved, I wanted to see how he perceives it.

3. Conservation

How did you start considering to help conservation NGO’s with your wildlife photography ?

Do you think only a few people (biologists/veterinarians)  can participate/help in conservation projects ?

Were you somehow involved in any successful conservation project ?

Bjorn:

“ I think we can all make a difference in conservation if we get engaged.  I have now for more than 4 years donated images to not profit conservation organizations, incl. WWF, Traffic, National Geographic News etc etc, who often do not have the means to get high quality wildlife photos, and we all know how big a difference it is when we have a top quality images.

In Singapore, where I am a permanent resident, one of the most recent conservation successes has been the return of the Oriental Pied Hornbill, which was not present here 20 years ago.  A good combination of co-operation between NParks, looking after conservation and all green areas in Singapore, and conservation NGOs has resulted in the fact that the Oriental Pied Hornbill is now back in full force with more than 60 pairs now here, partly due to a large No. of nesting boxes installed by NParks.  A book about this Hornbill project will be published later this year, and I have had the pleasure to assist with some of the photos for this publication. “

I posted another Uroplatus spp. photo kindly donated by Bjorn, since I find it amazing!

You can see there are no photos with geckos from the Phelsuma genus, which is endemic to Madagascar (with some exceptions), because I want to make a special theme with them.

If you haven’t seen Bjorn’s site, I invite you there to see some award-winning photos and to read some great articles about his journeys around the world: Bjorn Olesen – Wildlife Photography .

Uroplatus sikorae

Here is the second part from the mini-interview with the wildlife photographer Bjorn Olesen:

Geckos

What do you think about geckos ? Are they easy subjects for a photographer ?
Do you have any favourite species from Madagascar ?

Bjorn:

“As many geckos are nocturnal they are not an obvious or easy target for photographers, however in Madagascar there are several groups of geckos that have independently returned to diurnal habits, and two of these groups are quite common and prominent.

The Uroplatus geckos are probably my favourites as their camouflage is hard to beat.”

You can see in the last two photos why the geckos from the Uroplatus genus are Bjorn’s favourite. They really look amazing!

I will return with the last part of the interview that’s about conservation.

Thanks Bjorn for providing this excelent shot. Bjorn Olesen – Wildlife Photography

Uroplatus fimbriatus

As I promised I’m back with another photo and more infos about Madagascar and it’s geckos. I have prepared a short interview with Bjorn Olesen, which you know from my previous post. I divided the interview in 3 sections: Madagascar Island, Geckos and Conservation

Madagascar Island

How come you choose Madagascar as a destination ?
Is it expensive to travel there? what about living ?
Can you name a region you liked most and can you tell us why ?

Bjorn:

“To most conservationists Madagascar is a treasure island. The map says Madagascar is part of Africa, but don’t believe it!  The reason why I decided to go to Madagascar is that it is one of the hottest biodiversity hotspots in the world.  According to Conservation International 95.6% of all reptiles are endemic, and 99.6% of all amphibians can only be found on Madagascar and nowhere else on this planet!

Madagascar is not a cheap travel destination, but if you shop around, good deals can be found, especially now when not so many tourists go there.  Once you are there it is actually not an expensive place.

The eastern part of Madagascar is probably the most interesting area, as a lot of the original forests are still preserved in the montane districts.  The biodiversity is also the greatest, as this region has not suffered the same environmental degradation as has happened in many other places on the island. ”

I will be back in the next weeks with more q&a. Meanwhile enjoy this lovely photo Bjorn made, and for more wildlife photos you can check his site: Bjorn Olesen – Wildlife Photography .

Hemidactylus platycephalus

If you really like geckos, where would you first go to see them wild ?

I don’t know about you, but for me Madagascar sure is the number 1 place. This is why in collaboration with a great man I will try and post some amazing photography with geckos from the magic island – Madagascar.

The man that helped me with this  idea by providing me some great photography  is Bjorn Olesen. He is one of the people that inspired me to create this blog. I found out his site: Bjorn Olesen – Wildlife Photography  and discovered a man with a great vision:

” I have tried to turn my camera into a tool to promote conservation awareness, and I hope with these images that I can do my part and make a small contribution in nature conservation, and hopefully stimulating us all to act in support.” – Bjorn Olesen

After reading this part I asked myself what could I do to support nature conservation – and this blog’s idea came in my mind. So thank you very much Bjorn.

Bjorn Olesen – Wildlife Photography

I will return with more photos from Madagascar

Phyllodactylus reissii

When it comes about photography, reptiles and conservation one of my favourite sites is without a doubt Tropical Herping . They really know how to present the beauty of Ecuadors amphibians and reptiles.

“Tropical Herping (TH) is a initiative striving to discover, document and preserve tropical reptiles and amphibians through sustainable tourism, scientific research and effective environmental education.” All I can say to this is:  awesome !

A few weeks ago I contacted them in order to ask if they wanna’ participate to this blog. Alejandro answered back and sent me this great photo of a Phyllodactylus reissii . As you might know by now I kindly ask each contributor to write something about their chosen photography. Alejandro told us :

“I found it interesting to photograph because it remains pretty much unknown despite being common in western Ecuador. Very few is known about its ecology, taxonomy and relationships to other species. It also makes a great model for ecological studies, as it is restricted to dry forests, it is locally abundant, and because it is a very adaptable species. The species is therefore not endangered.”

This is so true, a lot of times species that are so close to us or are pretty abundant remain unknown until they start to disappear and than we start a race to try and save them.

Thank you Alejandro and Tropical Herping .

If any of you are going to Ecuador try and contact these guys , because they are organising great herping tours.

Eurydactylodes agricolae

Some people have the power to take their passions to the highest levels.  But what are the highest levels for a gecko lover ? Some might say breeding  special species, others will consider working in a conservation program and some will create books about these wonderful animals.

Edgar Wefer is one such man that falls in the later category. I discovered Edgar’s work from an interview he gave to the geckotime site: “Gecko Time Interviews Geckos of the World Photographer”  . There he was speaking about he’s latest book called : Geckos of the World.  I was very impressed by his words so I decided to contact him and kindly ask him to share with us a photography he likes.

He was very nice and sent this lovely photography with an Eurydactylodes agricolae saying that it’s one of his favourite species because it reminds him of dinosaurs and I have to agree with him, the aspect of it’s scaly skin makes you think of it’s larger cousins.

You can check out his book Geckos of the World . I found it amazing and the time and effort he spent taking all those photography means a lot.