Writings By Jason Gray

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Day 7 Facebook #challengeonnaturephotography

Day 7 of my ‪#‎challengeonnaturephotography‬! This week has flown by. Perhaps the most important aspect of promoting wildlife conservation, and ensuring efforts are sustainable and successful, is to ensure that local communities with the largest stake in the actual lands and wildlife that surround them are the key actors in conservation efforts. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Gabon, I was blessed to be able to work in elementary and secondary schools, with incredibly motivated students, teachers, and families to explore sustainable methods to promote conservation of Gabon’s outstanding biodiversity. This photo is from a nightly tour with turtle researchers and some of my students. The critically endangered leatherback turtle is an international symbol for wildlife conservation, and it will only be protected through serious efforts that include local schoolchildren, their families, and their communities. For my last nomination, I’m tapping a friend from Gabon, Ghislain Bouassa, a dedicated environmental steward, conservationist, and ecoguide I had the pleasure of working with in the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas in southwestern Gabon. Since this is my last day, I’m also nominating Troy Inman, a phenomenal photographer who I met in Gabon working on national park conservation efforts and whose native South Africa provides a stunning backdrop for further photography and conservation work. Ghislain and Troy, the #challengeonnaturephotography is to post a new photo every day for 7 days promoting wildlife conservation, and to nominate a new friend each day to do the same.

Student posing with a nesting leatherback turtle near Gamba

Student posing with a nesting leatherback turtle near Gamba, Gabon (by Jason Gray)

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