IYB: 52 x 10

the Dark Bluet, categorized as extinct on the Dutch Red List, however a small population has been rediscovered since the publication of the last Red List.

Biodiversity: the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. Or in other words: the number of species that live in a specific area. At the moment this biodiversity is getting smaller in many areas (including the world). We are losing species at an alarming rate, largely due to human influences. In the Netherlands 27 out of the 65 species of dragonfly are placed on the Red List of endangered species, worldwide 18 out of the 22 species of albatross are listed as endangered by the IUCN and about 30% of the Earth’s 6,285 amphibian species are threatened with extinction. These are just some examples showing the decrease in biodiversity. This inspired the UN to declare 2010 “the International Year of Biodiversity”. They did so to reflect on all the efforts that have been done so far to protect that biodiversity and to inspire new efforts to protect species and to save biodiversity.

Lady Birds, one of the about 4000 species of beetles in the Netherlands

For me this Year of Biodiversity made me think about how I could take part in this. One of the reasons for me to show my pictures to others is that I like to show how nice nature can be and what different species might be hidden in their surroundings. This year I would like to expand my look a little, think more outside of my box and capture as much of the biodiversity of the places I am as possible.  For this Year of Biodiversity I set myself a goal of photographing 10 different species each week. This means I really have to look besides my normal topics as there are only 65 species of dragonfly in the Netherlands… So beetles, plants, moths… here I come!!

I’m really looking forward to this challenge, I think it will be quite easy in the beginning, but the second half of the year could be quite hard… We’ll see, I’m going to start this weekend, I already have to catch up with 2 weeks…. I’ll keep you updated with the results!

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.


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