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Photo by Stephen Wilkes @stephenwilkes | A lone gazelle surveys the landscape from atop a rock perch in Tanzania. To see more photos from my travels near and far, follow me @stephenwilkes. #StephenWilkes #Tanzania #Serengeti #Gazelle #Perched #Expanse

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Photo by Robbie Shone @shonephoto | American speleologist and cave explorer Erin Lynch peers over her shoulder and down into the giant void of Cloud Ladder Hall. The fog gathers and remains trapped on the roof of this giant room, and although the floor is out of view and can't be seen because of the cloud, her echo reminds her that it is over 300m (1000ft) below. This really is a very lofty location to be suspended from a single rope.

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Photo by Pete McBride @pedromcbride | The Frothy Frappuccino Pit at the End: High in the Rocky Mountains is where this river, the Colorado, starts. Some 1,400 miles later, this is where it unnaturally ends. I was shocked when I first saw this on Jon Waterman’s source-to-sea trip for @natgeo. This frothy mess of garbage and ubiquitous single-use plastic is just two miles into Mexico—90 miles shy of the river’s historic terminus at the ocean (we hiked the rest of the delta). The snowmelt that sustains the Colorado River and irrigates the crops of America’s salad bowl no longer completes its journey to the Sea of Cortez. For six million years the river did complete that journey, creating the largest desert estuary in North America, but today the demands for water are too many. Changing climate patterns and repeated drought are all adding to the challenge, making it unlikely that this lifeline of the West, often called the “American Nile,” will reach the sea again anytime soon. While many groups are working to restore some of the delta, there is a lot of work ahead. For more on rivers around the world, follow @pedromcbride. #ColoradoRiver #Mexico #raisetheriver #planetnotplastic #SourcetoSea

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Photo by Lucas Foglia @lucasfogliaphoto | Ryerson Hazel works for Superior Woods, a Guyanese-owned timber producer and exporter. The lumber in the photo comes from the purpleheart tree that grows in the rainforest. The tree's dull brown wood turns a deep eggplant purple after it’s cut and then fades over time. Tropical hardwoods are much in demand in Asia, where local supplies have been decimated.

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Photo by Christian Ziegler @christianziegler | A rufous-necked hornbill brings a fig for his partner in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. The female is incubating their eggs in the nest inside a tree cavity–you can just see the tip of her beak. She is encased behind a wall of mud that keeps the eggs and young chicks safe from predators. The female does not leave the nest until after the chicks have hatched and grown (usually 3 or 4 months), and during this time she is completely dependent on her partner for food, delivered through the small opening to the nest–seeds, fruits, lizards, frogs, and insects. @natgeo supported me with a grant for this work #Bhutan #Conservation #RoyalManasNationalPark #Himalayas Follow me @christianziegler for more wildlife and nature stories.

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Photo by James Balog @james_balog | When I photographed this gray wolf back in the early 1990s for Survivors, my series on endangered wildlife, there were around 1,000 left in the contiguous United States. In 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began reintroducing gray wolves to central Idaho and Yellowstone. Thanks to their protected status, more than 5,000 now roam the lower 48. But this spring the service announced that it plans to propose removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list and "return management of the species to the states and tribes." The Center for Biological Diversity told NPR in March that the proposal will “all but ensure that wolves are not allowed to recover in the Adirondacks, southern Rockies, and elsewhere that scientists have identified suitable habitat.” Meanwhile, Mexican wolves once numbered in the hundreds of thousands in the American Southwest. In 1975, the last seven remaining in the wild were captured and bred to save the species. Today, just 150 exist in the wild, where they’re defined as a "nonessential experimental population," a status that affords them only partial protection. And there are only 44 red wolves left in North Carolina, the only place they exist in the world. Some researchers estimate that they could go extinct within eight years. Wolves do not have a voice. People do. You can “adopt” a wolf, donate to organizations protecting endangered wildlife, and tell your friends and family about what’s happening to this ancient ancestor of wo/man's best friend.

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Photo by Michael Christopher Brown @michaelchristopherbrown | Lari Laiso, photographed in 2016 on Kili, in the Marshall Islands, was born on Bikini Atoll. The year 2016 marked 70 years since the people of Bikini Atoll began living in exile, away from their homeland. The 167 Bikinians readied for their exodus as preparations were under way for the U.S. nuclear testing program. Around 242 naval ships, 156 aircraft, 25,000 radiation recording devices, and the Navy's 5,400 experimental rats, goats, and pigs arrived for the tests. Over 40,000 U.S. military and civilian personnel were involved in the testing program at Bikini. On March 1, 1954, the U.S. tested the Bravo hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll. The largest weapon the United States ever tested, at 15 megatons, the blast vaporized three islands and was 1,000 times the magnitude of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear weapons dropped on Japan in World War II.

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Photo by Stephen Alvarez @salvarezphoto | A Pahranagat-style anthropomorphic figure aligns with the Milky Way just before dawn in the Basin and Range National Monument. Thought to be 3,000 to 5,000 years old, these anthropomorphic figures are associated with the first hunter-gatherer cultures to inhabit this part of the American West, particularly the Pahranagant Valley in southern Nevada. I am in the American West working on an @insidenatgeo and @ancientartarchive project examining rock art in national monuments that were studied for reduction. The Basin and Range was not resized and remains a huge expanse of mostly empty wild space. For more images from this project follow me @salvarezphoto and my nonprofit @ancientartarchive as we explore and preserve humanity’s oldest stories.

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Photo by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz | The seldom-visited ruins of Timgad, Algeria, are one of the best preserved examples of Roman town planning. Located on the south side of the mountains that separate the Sahara from the coast, it’s hard to believe that this was once the breadbasket of the Roman Empire. But the North African climate has become significantly drier over millennia. To explore more of our world from above, follow @geosteinmetz

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Photos by Gabriele Galimberti and Paolo Woods @gabrielegalimbertiphoto and @paolowoods | This year we celebrate Leonardo da Vinci, who died 500 years ago. In a famous letter to Ludovico Sforza, duke of Milan, Leonardo seeks employment and presents himself more as a military technician than as an artist. In his writings elsewhere, he describes “a certain machine through which people may stay under water as long as they can remain without eating.” Here is the modern incarnation: photographed in the harbor of Messina, Italian naval special forces are training with an "ADS," a rigid, articulated diving suit that can go down to 300 meters under water. This is a highly technological device, pressurized and operated by a soldier of the COMSUBIN, the elite frogman commando force of the Italian navy. #underwater #comsubin #navy #military

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Photo by Nina Robinson @ninarobinsonnyc // Sponsored by @ProcterGamble // Tommy Franklin hosts a podcast called Weapon of Choice in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His podcast discusses the intersections between art, activism, and social justice. "In terms of striving to overcome barriers, there's just a lot of systematic things that remind you that your path will never be as smooth as you might deserve, even having done enough work to come out of adversity,” Tommy said. “Being formerly incarcerated, I strive to have faith that things will work out because I'm working on my own personal journey toward growth and success. And you try to work through it. And the best way to work through it is to be in relationships with amazing people that have an understanding about humanity." Much of my personal work focuses on vulnerability, reflection, and ways of challenging bias and limited belief systems. To navigate and persevere through the constant occurrences of racial bias is a daily exercise for me and for every black person I know. I recognize that black men carry a particular burden. The ongoing battle to merely do well and be respected is often drowned out by the many injustices they suffer. // @ProcterGamble understands that images in TV, film, and advertising can shape how people see each other, leading to bias and consequences that impact us all, especially people of color. Dialogue and understanding can unlock powerful revelations. #TalkAboutBias

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Photo by Enric Sala @enricsala | The National Geographic Pristine Seas team travels the world to explore, document, and protect the last wild places in the ocean. While on a Pristine Seas expedition, I photographed these striped large-eye breams in Palau, an island nation that passed legislation in 2015 to protect 80% of its waters. Our oceans need urgent protection, and this week I’m looking forward to sharing the role of exploration in ocean conservation at the National Geographic Explorers Festival. #NatGeoFest @natgeopristineseas

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