National Geographic The Photo Ark Vanishing: The World’s Most Vulnerable Animals

I’m so honored to be able to review yet another incredible National Geographic book!

While the last one I read was a plethora of fun and interesting information, this one is a bit more serious – in fact, I found myself tearing up a bit as I lazily flipped through pages one rainy day last week.

Don’t get me wrong – this book is STUNNING. The photography – as always with Nat Geo – is top notch. The information is thorough and presented flawlessly. But behind all that, is the reality.

Some of the most beautiful animal species of the world, are vanishing.

Joe Sartore is a celebrated Nat Geo journalist who has been documenting every species he can, to inspire people to care and help protect these animals. Through his photos in Vanishing, he takes us on a journey through the most critically endangered to those that are vulnerable. It’s heartwrenching and beautiful, as he invites us to look closer, and stresses the importance of those working to protect and restore the populations.

There are nearly 300 portraits in this book. They are gorgeous. They will break your heart. But this book is SO IMPORTANT.

“I want people to care, to fall in love, and to take action.”

– Joel Sartore

The book is broken into 4 categories:

  • GHOSTS – have not been seen, most likely extinct
  • DISAPPEARING – critically endangered
  • FADING – numbers are dropping, fast
  • DIMMING – numbers are declining

There are so many reasons these animals are vanishing. From birds, to fish, insects and mammals – some you’ve never heard of. Some could be your favorite.

For me, it might be obvious… my love of the hippos is fierce my friends! It breaks me to know how much the species is dwindling. Both the pygmy hippo (fading) and the larger more recognized species of hippo (dimming) are dwindling – poaching for meat and ivory and habitat loss being serious threats for these adorable creatures.

A lot of these animals are hunted to extinction – including some lions, rhinos and even manatees. While others, like the cardinalfish, are being captured to sit in those pretty saltwater aquariums you see at your doctor or dentist’s office. It’s incredible to think how close to home these issues are to us.

“All animals, regardless of size or shape, are glorious. Each is a living work of art.”

– Joel Sartore

The photos are so beautiful. I encourage you check them out at to see the entire collection so far. There’s even some interesting info at the end of the book that talks about what The Photo Ark is, and how they captured some of the photos!

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I truly encourage to you to check this one out. It’s stunning.

Purchase Links

Amazon | | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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About National Geographic The Photo Ark Vanishing: The World’s Most Vulnerable Animals

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (September 10, 2019)

The Photo Ark Vanishing cover


Celebrated National Geographic photojournalist Joel Sartore continues his Photo Ark quest, photographing species around the world that are escaping extinction thanks to human efforts.

Joel Sartore’s quest to photograph all the animal species under human care celebrates its 15th year with this glorious and heartwrenching collection of photographs. The animals featured in these pages are either destined for extinction or already extinct in the wild but still alive today, thanks to dedication of a heroic group committed to their continued survival. From the majestic Sumatran rhinoceros to the tiny Salt Creek tiger beetle, Sartore’s photographs bring us eye to eye with the kaleidoscopic diversity of shapes, colors, personalities, and attitudes of the animal world.

In these vivid pages, Sartore singles out the species most likely to disappear in the next decades, as well as some that have already been lost. Alongside these indelible images are the words of scientists and conservationists who are working to protect and restore populations of endangered species. With Sartore’s distinctive portrait photography, he invites us to look closer–and to care more.

About the Authors

JOEL SARTORE is a photographer, author, and 30-year contributor to National Geographic magazine, named 2018 National Geographic Explorer of the Year. Through his National Geographic Photo Ark project, he plans to photograph every species of animal under human care, an estimated 12,000. (As of Nov 2018, he has photographed nearly 9,000.) A three-part PBS/Nova special, “Rare,” featured his project in 2017. His “Fundamentals of Photography” is the best-selling offering of all The Great Courses, and he is a frequent guest on CBS Sunday Morning.

ELIZABETH KOLBERT (foreword) is a staff writer for The New Yorker. Her most recent book, The Sixth Extinction, received the Pulitzer Price for general nonfiction in 2015. She is also the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. A two-time National Magazine Award winner, Kolbert is a visiting fellow at the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College.


Thank you to @tlcbooktours for having me on this amazing tour!

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8 thoughts on “National Geographic The Photo Ark Vanishing: The World’s Most Vulnerable Animals

  1. I felt like these photos were absolutely haunting in the best way possible. I am in love with this book! Thank you so much for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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