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Using Photos to Document the Plight of Vultures, the ‘Antiheroes of Our Ecosystems’


If you want to see a photojournalist who cares deeply about the subject they’re covering, watch this 3-minute National Geographic video. In it, photographer Charlie Hamilton James discusses his photos of vultures — one of the fastest declining families of birds in history, and what James calls “the world’s forgotten environmental disaster.”

James photographed vultures in South Africa from all kinds of perspectives, from placing cameras inside carcasses to shooting the remains of vultures — one of the most trafficked animals in the world — being sold in street markets.

“I have a very big place in my heart for them,” James writes in an article at Nat Geo, which includes a number of his photos. “They are very special creatures, and we need them more than we know.”