When I was in Stockholm recently as part of a photography project, I had the privilege of hearing the internationally acclaimed wildlife photographer, Bjorn Persson, talk about his work.

Using his wonderful images as a backdrop, we learned how his passion for wildlife was born when he trained in field care and worked with anti-poaching teams in South Africa. That’s when he discovered what a critical state wildlife is in. He talked about Javan Rhinos with only around 75 individuals remaining, due to hunting and habitat loss. The Amur leopard is one of the rarest big cats in the world, but there are only around 100 individuals left in the wild and Asian and African elephants are also now endangered mainly as a result of a commercial demand for ivory.

Initially Bjorn said he used his camera to show the horrors inflicted on these animals by poachers. His early images were deeply shocking. Elephants with their tusks cut off, rhinos left to die from their wounds and young animals being torn from their mothers.

There came a point though when he felt that his images weren’t making an impact. He felt this was because there is only so much bad news that we can tolerate before we shut down.

Thus he now aims to capture the incredible beauty of nature and thereby encourage the change necessary to put a stop to this slaughter. ”To save the wild animals, we first need to love, understand, and respect them,” he said. The ambition with his imagery is to portray the wild animals as they truly are – beautiful, sentient, and highly conscious beings with different needs and personalities.

In his view, global warming, wildlife extinction and international conflicts are all interlinked. They are symptoms of the same underlying condition: our lack of connectivity with the natural world. “What we do not respect or have a close affinity to, we will never truly understand or care for.”

Through his books, that include stunning images of animals in their natural habitat, he is sending a clear message. Science and technology alone won’t save the world. Facts and statistics are not enough to touch people on an emotional level. Real change must also start in our hearts. Only by falling back in love with nature will we find genuine compassion to protect it.

The Real Owners of the Planet celebrates the beauty of African wildlife and was the first in a series that will cover the endangered species of every continent in the world. It aims to spread attention about African endangered animals and funds raised will go directly to the protection of these animals.

The second book, “Beauty Will Save The World”, also pays tribute to these magnificent animals where Bjorn uses his camera as a weapon against wildlife poaching. You can buy both these books from his official website

These are certainly more than traditional wildlife photography books with stunning images. These books have an important message about wildlife conservation, and it is hard not to be moved by the plight of these animals highlighted so sensitively by Bjorn Persson’s impressive skill with his camera.


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