Last shots come in for world's largest nature photo shoot | WWF
Last shots come in for world's largest nature photo shoot

Posted on 21 June 2009

A striking symmetry of wings as two gulls attack a grey heron on the Elbe in Germany. An ibex caught negotiating an absolutely impossible slope in Spain. A Hungarian bee eater of spectacular plumage snapped catching a bumblebee nearly as colourful.
A striking symmetry of wings as two gulls attack a grey heron on the Elbe in Germany. An ibex caught negotiating an absolutely impossible slope in Spain. A Hungarian bee eater of spectacular plumage snapped catching a bumblebee nearly as colourful.

These are among 100,000 images collected in the Wild Wonders of Europe project over the course of 114 missions. Come the conclusion of this endeavour, 66 professional photographers will have travelled to 48 European countries to document the wildlife of a continent often overshadowed by their more famous counterparts.

“Wild Wonders is an immensely valuable conservation initiative” Said WWF Director-General James Leape.

“It brings the work of WWF and other conservation organisations to life. These vivid images demonstrate that even in Europe there are still many undisturbed areas of natural beauty - and that our efforts to preserve them are paying dividends.”

Part of the mission of Wild Wonders of Europe is to inspire passion for wildlife in Europe and to change the perception that the whole continent is covered in buildings and roads.

Few people would know, for example, that Finland is the best place on Earth to view bears, wolves and wolverines living together, and that it is not uncommon to see several hundred vultures in the south of Spain in just one sitting.

“If we want these places and creatures to remain and flourish, we must inspire people to want to protect them. We hope that we can connect them to the heritage of this continent and make them realize how much there is worth saving.” Said Staffan Widstrand, Managing Director of the project

“Photography can have an enormous impact upon people’s perception. It can elicit emotion and understanding in a way that words often cannot.”

“This project will both excite and surprise those who have the opportunity to see it and we hope and feel that it will change the perception of wildlife in Europe.”

By July of this year, the photographers will have completed their planned 114 missions.

Then, in April 2010, to coincide with the international year of biodiversity, the Wild Wonders of Europe Great Wild Show Outdoor Exhibition series will be launched, and shown all across Europe, visiting many of its major cities over a period of 3 years.

WWF has been a keen supporter of the project from the start, and is proud to be the main conservation partner for Wild Wonders of Europe.
Black-headed gulls attacking grey heron, Middle Elbe biosphere reserve, Germany
Black-headed gulls (Larus ridibundus) attacking grey heron (Ardea cinerea), Middle Elbe biosphere reserve, Germany
© Dieter Damschen / Wild Wonders of Europe

Related links

European bee-eater, Hungary.
European bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Hungary
© Wild Wonders of Europe / Markus Varesvuo / WWF
Iberian ibex, Sierra de Gredos, Spain
Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica), Sierra de Gredos, Spain
© Staffan Widstrand / Wild Wonders of Europe
Tree frog (Hyla arborea) on flowering rush
Tree frog (Hyla arborea) on flowering rush
© Wild WOnders of Europe / Dietmar Nill / WWF