When a few of these photographs first appeared in the National Geographic magazine January 2009 issue, they were hailed as an arresting reminder of the hundreds of species teetering on the brink of final extinction more than 1,200 animals and plants in all. Now, in Rare, Joel Sartore and National Geographic present 80 iconic images, representing a lifelong commitment to the natural world and a three-year investigation into the Endangered Species Act and the creatures it exists to protect. This book will give readers not only a broader understanding of the history and purpose of the Endangered Species Act, but also an intimate look at the very species it seeks to preserve. With stunning up-close portraits on every page, this important volume evokes sympathetic wonder at the vast and amazing array of plants and animals still in need of protection. Itself a creation of particular beauty, Rare offers eloquent proof that a picture really is worth a thousand words as it shows us, one after another, scores of uniquely remarkable and seriously threatened life-forms. It is a compelling story and a many-faceted, brilliant jewel of a book.
Joel Sartore has been a photographer for more than 20 years (17 with National Geographic), and his many assignments have taken him everywhere all over the world. He is the author of several books, a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning, and his work has appeared in Time, Life, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated.