Freedom To Roam: Wildlife Corridors

Inspiring, Connecting, Preserving

Photographer

Florian Schulz

Concept

Amongst scientists, the need for connectivity between natural areas and preserves has become basic knowledge. Isolated pockets of land, established as parks and preserves, are not enough to maintain a sustainable, healthy ecosystem that supports both wildlife and human communities over time.

Vital areas have been identified in North American for their unmatched biodiversity and pristine wilderness: The Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y) and the Baja to Beaufort (B2B) ecoregions.

Like geographic arteries of the wild, Y2Y and B2B connect the last vestiges of the western wilderness in a river of hope to preserve the habitats of many endangered wide-ranging migratory mammals and birds. Threatened by exploitation of its natural resources and the constant growth of population and development, the importance of reconnecting isolated preserves is crucial to ensure a functioning web of life.

As we face the new area of climate change, plants as well as animals need to allocate to new environments. Here is where corridors play an important roll in the survival of many species. Only by establishing linkages between parks and preserves, we will ensure the endurance of these unique ecosystems.

Baja to Beaufort (B2B)

Committed to explore some of the most remote wild corners of the northern hemisphere, Schulz set on a quest to document one of the last most endangered ecosystems and critical wildlife corridors of North America: “Yellowstone to Yukon”. Today he has embarked on a new photographic mission where the land meets the sea: “Baja to Beaufort Sea”.

Running from Baja California to the Beaufort Sea, this region encompasses a long connected line of sand, cliff, island, estuary and marsh, as well as abutting coastal forest and ocean. Marine and terrestrial interrelationships are vast and complex, linking the life of the ocean depths to the very tops of ancient trees—and ultimately to us.

Featured under the series “Freedom to Roam” the project will depict the importance of creating wildlife corridors and marine protected areas along the Pacific to the Arctic Coast. Under the label “Baja to Beaufort (B2B) ”, Florian will spend the coming years immersed in documenting the drama and beauty as well as the threats and challenges this magnificent coastal landscape faces. From the grand formations of the Baja Peninsula with its oceanic richness, along the rugged Pacific Coast to the freezing waters of the Arctic, Florian will tell the story of a magnificent web of life. A place where whales cruise the oceans, myriads of birds congregate on tidal flats, schools of returning salmon fill the streams and the lines of thousands of caribou follow ancient migration routes across the arctic tundra.

Yellowstone to Yukon (Y2Y)

The Yellowstone to Yukon region is one of North America’s most ambitious and significant conservation efforts today. The broad expanse of land that begins in Yellowstone NP and extends along the spine of the continent, the Rocky Mountains, leads up north into the Yukon region comprising one of the last fully intact mountain ecosystems of our planet.

Florian has dedicated months to promote the idea of creating wildlife corridors. Since the publication of Yellowstone to Yukon in 2005, over 70 lectures across the United States, Canada and Germany have been delivered to date and will continue as his exhibit tours nationally through 2010. Along with the book, a multimedia production accompanied by natural sounds, live interviews, music and beautifully orchestrated sequences of images, he shares with the public a better understanding of this international conservation effort.

The events have been hosted in collaboration with over multiple Colleges & Universities, Museums, Libraries, Festivals and Clubs; one government agency—the Canadian Consulate General; and over 35 organizations, among them the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Alaska Wilderness League, The Wilderness Society, Wildsight and Conservation Northwest.

Biography

Born in Germany, Florian Schulz (32) is a professional nature and wildlife photographer with a vision of broad horizons. As the youngest founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), Florian is in the constant search for breathtaking images that inspire individuals to take action in the protection of large endangered ecosystems.

Florian has been featured internationally as a speaker in many prestigious venues from universities, book- and film-festivals to National Geographic and Microsoft.  His images are exhibited in prestigious museums and his articles have been published in numerable influential publications such as BBC Wildlife Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, The New York Times and Airone between others.

Awards include NANPA’s first ever honored “Visions Award” and Philip Hyde Grant, numerous international awards in some of the most recognized nature photography competitions including the “Outstanding Book of the Year” by the IPPY – Independent Publishers Book Awards.

Florian’s powerful imagery has served as key element for helping achieve and promote conservation for wildlife corridors in North America.

www.visionsofthewild.com

Project Updates

New video trailer for Freedom To Roam was presented at the AWL film festival, which marked the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The spring 2009 issue of the National Wildlife Magazine included an article on Wildlife Corridors and the Yellowstone to Yukon – Freedom to Roam project.

Florian is undertaking extended field photography work in the Baja Peninsula, check his blog for entries from the field.

The Yellowstone to Yukon – Freedom to Roam exhibit is open at the Field Museum in Chicago until June 2009.

Florian is honored as Conservation Photographer of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation and Nature’s Best Photography Blog.

Florian invited as speaker to talk about Blue Earth and the Freedom to Roam Project during the Microsoft Pro Photo Summit 2008.

 

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