Feature Stories

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Here we present a selection of recent feature stories, many of them including text and a downloadable pdf, designed with magazine features in mind. For more information on any story or our features service generally, please contact Tim Aldred.

To view our single image / Eyecatcher stories, please click here.
Burn Scars
4 Feb 2020 12:00 am
221 files
In the 2019-2020 dry season, record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought fueled massive bushfires across Australia. Nationwide, more than 12 million hectares burned – an area as large as England. As well as claiming the lives of at least 25 people, the fires have had a catastrophic impact on Australian wildlife. One estimate suggests that, in the state of New South Wales alone, more than 800 million animals have been affected. If the states of Victoria and South Australia are included, the figure rises to over one billion...
~Read more in our blog here.

Enchanted by Owls
31 Oct 2019 12:00 am
90 files
Photographer Sven Začek was stalking moose in a frozen Estonian forest when he saw his first Ural owl. Looking into her black eyes was the beginning of an obsession which has lasted for nearly two decades.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Footprints in the Water
28 Aug 2019 12:00 am
72 files
With the bill and webbed feet of a duck, broad flat tail of a beaver, and a furry body that closely resembles that of a mole, the platypus is so bizarre that British scientists first thought it was a hoax - stitched together by fraudsters. It is one of only a few mammals that produce venom, and - together with echidnas - it forms a unique branch of egg-laying mammals called monotremes.
~Despite what we know about the biological quirks of platypuses, they are so elusive and difficult to track down that we still don't have a solid grasp of their abundance or distribution. However, that is beginning to change.
~Doug Gimesy's exceptionally rare images reveal how citizen science and environmental DNA analysis are opening up new worlds of information about one of our planet’s most unique (and baffling) species.
~ Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Nature's Jewels
8 Jan 2019 12:00 am
122 files
For many, the word iridescence conjures images of shiny jewellery, glittering seas, or sparkling diamonds. But it’s also a term that belongs in the animal kingdom. Creatures as diverse as insects, reptiles, birds and fish employ iridescence in a variety of ways, but we still don’t know for sure~what benefits this resplendence affords the animals themselves.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Photographer Lockdown
21 May 2020 12:00 am
221 files
Many of our photographers have been living in lockdown during the spring of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here we show how they have managed to shoot some really interesting images in challenging circumstances. From all parts of the UK and USA, Italy and Norway, India, Galapagos and Australia, our contributors found some amazing subjects, often literally on their doorstep!~~To read the stories behind the lockdown images in this gallery, please take a look at our Photographers in Lockdown blog posts. Part 1 has a UK and European focus, while Part 2 talks about lockdown around the world.
Reef Visions
17 Feb 2020 09:52 pm
76 files
“I’ve always been drawn to coral reefs,” says Douwma. “I’ve photographed them for as long as I can remember. To watch them die would be a tragedy.” But that’s precisely what’s happening to reefs worldwide, as a result of global warming, ocean acidification, and pollution of marine habitats. In the past three decades alone, around 50% of corals have been lost, with the latest forecasts suggesting that over 90% of reefs will be gone by 2050.
~Looking for a way to develop her work in new directions, Douwma began experimenting with what she calls ‘coral kaleidoscopes,’ creating arresting compositions with strong symmetry, texture and design. “My ultimate aim is to capture something that is greater than the sum of its parts,” she says. “Something that can communicate the vibrancy and colour of healthy reefs.” The resulting pieces bring to life in spectacular fashion the underwater edens that we stand to lose, unless we can find a way to reduce negative human impacts.
~To be mesmerised by more of Douwma’s coral kaleidoscopes – and find out how her images mirror the work of scientists racing to save coral reefs from extinction – read our full story here.

Shaped by the Sea
24 Feb 2020 12:00 am
51 files
Europe’s Atlantic coastline consists of a mix of coastal landscapes, including fjords, deltas, cliffs of all shapes and sizes, plus all sorts of sand and pebble beaches. Despite the many differences, the influence of the Atlantic and a coastal climate are clearly visible wherever you look.
~Over three years, Theo Bosboom visited and photographed more than fifty beaches in nine different countries to showcase the diversity of landscapes and geographical features that make up the Atlantic coast. ‘Some of my earliest childhood memories are of the sea and the beach,’ he says. ‘It is still in me. I too, have been shaped by the sea.’
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Studies in Slime
28 May 2020 12:00 am
75 files
With their bizarre life cycles and shapeshifting abilities, there aren’t many lifeforms as weird as slime moulds. For one thing, they’re not moulds. A lot of the time, they’re not even slimy. They can exist as single-celled loners or as ‘supercells’ made up of millions of individuals. Sometimes they look like toadstools, and sometimes they behave like slugs. But they’re neither. Hence the weirdness.
~ “The fact that you can find the same species pretty much anywhere on the planet is fascinating to me,” says Andy Sands, a UK-based photographer who spent months searching for slime moulds under dead logs in the woods around his Hertfordshire home. Andy’s close-up studies reveal in surprising detail the weird world that exists underneath our feet.

To find out more – and to discover how these ancient, primitive organisms are opening up new frontiers of research check out our full story PDF, complete with text, here.

The Plastic Problem
22 Mar 2018 12:00 am
141 files
In 2017, BBC series ‘BLUE PLANET II’ addressed an uncomfortable truth: Every year, 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans - and it’s our fault. Plastic pollution has since become big news. But what can be done to tackle one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time?
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Wombat Rescue
28 Jul 2020 12:00 am
82 files
In March 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the city of Melbourne was ordered into lockdown. For wildlife carer Emily Small, that meant working from home in her top-floor apartment – with three orphaned wombats. Emily has been rescuing wombats for seventeen years, ever since she and her mother were handed an orphaned joey to look after. She is the founder of the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage, which she co-manages with her mother Sharon. The facility cares for orphaned, sick and injured wombats, rehabilitating them for release back into the wild.~~During the unprecedented 2019-2020 bushfires, the forests of East Gippsland—where the Goongerah orphanage is based—were turned into disaster zones. The orphanage itself survived, but the wombats in the region were horribly impacted. Within a few months of the fires, COVID-19 swept across the globe. Emily would normally travel between work and the orphanage, juggling wombat care with her role as Operations Supervisor for Wildlife Victoria, an emergency response service for sick, injured or orphaned animals. But amid government orders to stay at home, and lockdown restrictions that made long distance travel difficult, Emily had to relocate the orphaned wombats 450km west, from the orphanage to her top-floor apartment in inner city Melbourne. Since May, she has been raising the youngsters in her home/ improvised care facility—and life has been far from dull.~
For the full story head to our blog or view the pdf.

A Heart for Hedgehogs
20 Feb 2018 12:00 am
85 files
Photographers Marie-Luce Hubert and Jean-Louis Klein are always busy looking after animals, be it cats on Greek islands, Eskimo dogs in Canada, or neglected donkeys. But they were at home in France when their neighbour - a twelve-year old boy named Lucas - found four baby hedgehogs that were wandering alone without their mother. Despite efforts to tempt her back with food and water, she still hadn’t returned the next day, and the orphans were hungry. Without a hedgehog mother to raise them, there was only one thing Marie-Luce and Jean-Louis could do: rescue the hoglets, and become foster parents to the prickly youngsters themselves.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

After Hours
2 Apr 2015 12:00 am
88 files
Eric Médard has spent 25 years developing soundproofed infra-red camera equipment, allowing him to photograph wildlife at night. Working mostly in his native France, in the woodland that surrounds his home, his images offer rare glimpses of creatures too shy to see during the day.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Aliens of the Deep
3 Feb 2017 12:00 am
75 files
The deep sea is the largest and most mysterious habitat on our planet. Taking up 95% of the Earth’s living space, it remains largely unexplored. It’s hard to imagine anything surviving in the pitch black, icy cold, crushing environment of the deep ocean, yet scientists are discovering a habitat rich with life. The creatures being uncovered are often so bizarre they might seem, at first glance, like aliens.
~In November 2015, photographer Solvin Zankl accompanied a scientific expedition to the Cape Verde Islands in the eastern tropical Atlantic, where his mission was to document the strange creatures living beyond the reach of the sun. ‘There is no other place on earth where you can photograph such interestinglooking animals,’ says Zankl, a trained marine biologist with a lifelong fascination for life under the waves.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

An Appetite for Life
12 Jun 2019 12:00 am
216 files
How a global food revolution could help save the planet, farmed animals, and us.
~On an increasingly overpopulated planet, making sure that there is enough food to feed everyone is a question of efficiency. In order to sustain an expected population of 10 billion people by 2050, and address the ever-growing problem of climate change, scientists are calling for a ‘great food transformation’: one which would require drastically reducing our consumption of meat and dairy, and making a cultural shift towards a largely plant-based diet...
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Animal Architecture
5 Jan 2015 12:00 am
100 files
Homes play a vital role in animals’ lives, revealing behaviour as well as contributing to their survival.~Ingo Arndt has documented these structures in great detail both in the wild and in studio setups where the detail and precision of the constructions can be truly appreciated.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Animal Athletes
18 Aug 2014 12:00 am
54 files
The Olympic games are an inspiring spectacle of talent, with the best athletes in the world setting benchmarks for human potential and physical endurance.
~Whilst we may marvel at their prowess, they should feel lucky they don't have to compete with the champions of the animal kingdom, who perform physical feats of Olympic proportions every day in order to ensure their survival in the greatest game of all: the competition of life.
~Who are the champions of the animal kingdom? Find out by downloading our full story PDF, including text, here.

Animal Blunders
20 Feb 2018 12:00 am
40 files
It’s not just us humans that get things wrong sometimes. Animals can be just as clumsy and accident-prone as we are!
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

24 May 2015 12:00 am
99 files
Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15 million hectare Lake Baikal covers an area the size of Belgium. It is the oldest (25 million years) deepest (1,642 m) and largest by volume of any lake in the world. It contains 20% of all fresh, running water on the planet - more than all five of the USA’s Great Lakes combined - and is so vast that Siberian people call it a sea.
~Russian photographer Olga Kamenskaya has returned to Baikal year after year, in search of the perfect photo which encapsulates its allure and beguiling beauty. "Despite having walked hundreds of kilometres on the lake, taking thousands of shots," she says, "I have still only touched upon its mystery."
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Bat Hospital
26 Oct 2017 12:00 am
90 files
In the mid-1980's, in the Atherton Tablelands of Queensland Australia, large numbers of spectacled flying foxes began dying mysteriously. It wasn't until 1990 that the cause was discovered: paralysis ticks were infecting the fruit bats, making it impossible for them to roost, and causing them to fall to the ground, often while still carrying their infants. With the aid of volunteers and foster parents, an emergency hospital was opened in response, followed in 1997 by the world-class Tolga Bat Hospital, which today rescues, rehabilitates and re-releases hundreds of bats each year.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Bat Rescue
10 Oct 2016 12:00 am
74 files
As the sun begins to set over the horizon, a muted chattering and rustling of soft, leathery wings emerges from the shadows, accompanied by the scrabbling of sharply clawed feet. Bats are waking up, preparing for nocturnal flights in search of prey. But this is no nightmare scenario; more a heartening tale of redemption, recovery and one woman’s love for perhaps the most misunderstood creatures of all.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Beauty in the Beast
20 Oct 2015 12:00 am
64 files
Photographer Michael Kern has been drawn to reptiles, amphibians and arachnids since childhood – but he soon recognised that his passion was not one that everyone shares. ‘A lot of people are unable to get past their primeval fears,’ he says, ‘which begs the question: how do we conserve these fascinating animals?’
~By experimenting with his images, Kern discovered that he could turn peoples’ fear into fascination. ‘First, I deconstruct my images to the most basic elements of form, colour, and texture,’ he says. ‘Then I create kaleidoscopic interpretations by cropping, mirroring, and rotating aspects of the original image. The result is a pair of portraits: one abstract, one reality. I use these images to show the beauty of the animals, without the form that creates fear and prejudice. I hope that by doing so, I can help people to appreciate the creatures themselves, and perhaps take a first step towards protecting them.’
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

4 Sep 2017 12:00 am
52 files
For most of the year, beewolves are peaceful creatures, living on pollen and nectar, but when they reproduce, they become mighty miners and ruthless killers.
~Download our full story PDF, featuring images by Milan Radisics and including text, here.

Black Panther
14 Aug 2018 12:00 am
59 files
They share their name with a superhero who broke box office records in 2018... Now meet the fascinating real-life felines that inspired the movie!
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Budgie Boom
5 Sep 2017 12:00 am
61 files
Budgerigars are best known as popular cage birds, but for every budgie behind bars there are thousands living free in the wild.
~Download our full story PDF, including text, here.

Chasing Paradise
17 Aug 2014 12:00 am
61 files
When photographer Tim Laman was given an assignment to photograph the birds-of-paradise, he knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Working alongside Ed Scholes, an ornithologist and world authority on the birds-of-paradise, Laman completed seven major expeditions and photographed 22 birds-of-paradise species in the wild. But neither he nor Ed were entirely satisfied. After all, they were over halfway to photographing all 39 known species of birds-of-paradise, something that had never been done before. After eight years of work, involving 18 expeditions and 51 unique field sites, their Birds-of-Paradise Project was completed, resulting in a comprehensive collection of photographs, which shed new light on some of the most intriguing yet scarcely documented birds known to science.
~To download a pdf of this story, click here. ~
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