Joel Sartore is a world-renowned photographer for National Geographic and he’s on a one-man mission to save many of the world’s endangered species before it’s too late.

He’s embarked on what he’s calling a biodiversity project. He’s traveling to zoos and aquariums across the world to shoot portraits of 6,000 animal species. He puts his subjects in front of a black-and-white background and says the photos prove that a small endangered mouse is just as powerful and important as a giant grizzly bear.

Joel says every species deserves to have a voice and he wants to show the world the value and importance of these creatures before they’re gone forever.

He explains why he believes we’re in the golden age of zookeeping and debunks some of the long-held myths about the true nature of zoos and aquariums.

Joel also offers simple ways we can all make a difference to save creatures threatened by extinction, and if you think it doesn’t matter, he lays out the ecological implications of extinction. 

Click here to visit Joel’s website. He sells prints of his portraits and many of his pictures from the wild, and all proceeds support his effort to photograph endangered species.