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Steve Winter

Bio NatGeo Wildlife + Conservation Photojournalist + Speaker. Next @NatGeo Live! talk Oct 25th at The Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford CT.

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 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@stevewinterphoto @natgeo @africanparksnetwork

Guards that are coming back from their 12 days in the field, protecting " - 1895790312900414315
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@stevewinterphoto @natgeo @africanparksnetwork Guards that are coming back from their 12 days in the field, protecting the park, meeting their friends or neighbors or family members that are also guards – getting ready to head out to the field. Communities protecting their park and all the animals!!! Zakouma National Park in Chad is one of the most remarkable stories about transformation. In 2010, African Parks, on invitation by the Chadian Government, signed a long-term agreement to manage Zakouma and stop the bloodshed. Our first step was to overhaul law enforcement, but it wasn’t for the faint of heart. In 2012, six of our rangers were gunned down execution-style during their morning prayers. But our rangers, with their indomitable spirits, didn’t give up. Because of their efforts and effective community work, only 24 known elephants have been lost to poaching since 2010. Along with providing law enforcement, we built ‘Elephant Schools’ for local communities, providing desks, blackboards and teachers’ salaries, helping more than 1,500 children get an education. We built airstrips, and VHF radios were installed so community members could contact our control room with information about any illegal activity. People were employed to help manage the park, making Zakouma one of the largest employers in the region. With law enforced and security reclaimed, tourists began to visit, delivering needed revenue back to the park and local communities. And then something miraculous happened. Elephants were able to be elephants once again, and for the first time in years, they began to breed and could raise their young. In early 2017, we counted 81 calves under the age of three. In 2011, we counted one. Elephants have now surpassed 527 individuals and are on the rise for the first time in a decade. We’ve come a long way since 2010. The story of Zakouma is of a park rising from the ashes and becoming an unlikely tale of redemption, for people and animals alike. Our work in Zakouma would not be possible without the support of our partners: The Republic of Chad, the EU, Foundation Segré and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to name a few.

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto

During a story on the bears of Kamchatka the writer and I were invited to a hunting " - 1894584930723080849
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@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto During a story on the bears of Kamchatka the writer and I were invited to a hunting camp. The owner was worried that the area was losing all their large bears. To me using common sense was the fact that all the outfitters had a “guaranteed hunt” - you were guaranteed to kill a bear and bring it home. Because it was a late spring - during the time I was there - many bears were still hibernating. So the first bears to to be seen by the hunters were young breeding females. This should have been taken into account by the outfitters and not shot and killed. But as they had the “guaranteed hunt” policy - these young females were shot and killed - 6 while we were there. In the case of the hunter I was following - he wanted the bear to be just inside his front door to scare the pizza delivery person. He killed this young breeding female - then waited another week to also kill a 11 foot tall male also. You decide why they were losing their bear population.

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@stevewinterphoto for @africaparksnetwork
A school in @Zakouma_National _Park
Future conservation leaders are on the ris" - 1894308694809461674
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@stevewinterphoto for @africaparksnetwork A school in @Zakouma_National _Park Future conservation leaders are on the rise in Africa. Last year, more than 65,000 children from local communities received access to environmental education through the parks under our management. These lessons help build support for conservation and teach children about the reasons and the benefits of protecting and preserving the life-giving resources that the parks bring with them. It’s because of these young people that we are hopeful for a brighter and wild future. @natgeo

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@stevewinterphoto

Jaguars love the water - this male jag is looking for caiman for his dinner - shot in August in the P" - 1892332698015342973
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@stevewinterphoto Jaguars love the water - this male jag is looking for caiman for his dinner - shot in August in the Pantanal of Brazil with @naturalworldsafaris. Our animal family is so much like us - they find mates, they have kids, they have to feed themselves and their families. If we can find a way to believe they think, feel and have emotions we will all be better humans. We need to treat them better and find a way to ensure their future on this planet. They are keystone species in their ecosystems, though we as humans are not. Jaguars are the 3rd largest of the big cats. Found from US / Mexico border to northern Argentina. Jaguars have rebounded in this area where 95% of the land is privately owned. In the past many ranchers would kill the cats when they ate their cattle. Today in this area tourism brings in much more money to the local economy than cattle ranching. So the jaguar population is increasing. But revenge killings of jaguars happen close to this area and all throughout the jaguars range. Also poaching for skins, bones and teeth is growing for the first time since the 1970’s to feed the demand for people who think they receive the “power of the jaguar through their teeth”, Chinese Traditional Medicine and now Luxury items from endangered species. “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” @wildaid My first story with big cats was the 1st @natgeo Jaguar story 20 years ago! It has changed my life working with the magical and magnificent cats of the world. Animals have emotions just like we have. Follow me @stevewinterphoto to see more images and THANKS! @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @nglive @natgeochannel @natgeowild @thephotosociety @natgeocreative @africanparksnetwork @jaguar @pantanalsafaris

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto @AfricanParksNetwork 
Lions are roaring in Liwonde National Park in Malawi after deca" - 1891583282627179632
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@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto @AfricanParksNetwork Lions are roaring in Liwonde National Park in Malawi after decades of being extinct thanks to the work of @AfricanParksNetwork , the Malawian Government, @LionRecovery , @leonardodicapriofdn and @leonardodicaprio Liwonde National Park was recently on the verge of collapse just 3 years ago -the park was overrun with poaching and more wire snares existed in the park than large animals. But in 2015, @AfricanParksNetwork assumed management of the park on behalf of the Government, and immediately got to work training and outfitting their Ranger unit, preventing poaching, removing almost 30,000 snares, and making the park safe for nature's return. In 2017 they reintroduced cheetahs, and just as of August 16th, they reintroduced lions to restore this iconic species to the park, and help balance natural systems by bringing back critically needed predators. This population is expected to triple in the next few years - and will be supplemented with individuals from other parks African Parks manages in Malawi to ensure for a healthy genepool - as well as help with tourism to the park, benefiting the surrounding local communities. There are fewer than 20,000 lions left in Africa, down from 200,000 just 100 years ago - and their long-term future remains in question: they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, lack of prey, unsustainable hunting and now poaching for their skins, bones, claws and other body parts. But projects like these show how with determination, political will, community support, and simply envisioning a better future, we can bring this species back as well as protect our last wild landscapes, benefiting both wildlife and people, and creating a better existence for all. To learn more about this project and other inspiring conservation stories from across Africa, please follow @AfricanParksNetwork @LionRecovery @leonardodicapriofdn and @leonardodicaprio

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@stevewinterphoto  @africanparksnetwork
@Zakouma_National_Park in Chad, @africanparksnetwork, is one of the most amazing" - 1888564743733434678
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@stevewinterphoto @africanparksnetwork @Zakouma_National_Park in Chad, @africanparksnetwork, is one of the most amazing ecosystems on the planet – I have been to so many places throughout my career @natgeo – the amazing abundance of life found here is off the charts. Zakouma is just one of 15 parks managed by conservation NGO African Parks (@africanparksnetwork). If you want to see wild plains teeming with lions, leopards, herds of elephants, giraffe, and now rhinos (they just reintroduced black rhinos after a 50-year absence) and no tourists - go to Zakouma - check out the lodges there and in the other parks the manage in 8 other countries via their website. Tourism revenue goes back to the parks they manage and important community projects like education, healthcare and improved livelihoods. What is happening in Zakouma is one of the most hopeful stories in conservation. The park was once ravaged by poaching and insecurity. More than 4,000 elephants, which was 95% of the population, were slaughtered between 2002 to 2010 for the sale of their ivory – and poachers wreaked havoc on both the wildlife and people who lived there. By 2010, only 450 elephants remained. That same year, @africanparksnetwork signed a long-term agreement with the government of Chad to fully manage Zakouma and change the trajectory of the park. They built a ranger team and implemented effective law enforcement measures and community networks, and today poaching has been practically eliminated. The elephant population is finally on the rise for the first time in a decade. Elephants have surpassed 550 individuals, and not one has been lost to poaching since January 2016. Last year @africanparksnetwork counted 81 elephant calves under the age of three years old; in 2011 they counted one. Without the support of local communities this would not work. The park is the largest employer in the region; thousands of people are getting an education and healthcare, and decency and civility, along with life, have found their back to this once forgotten place. To learn more about Zakouma and other truly hopeful conservation efforts happening across Africa, please follow @africanparksnetwork

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto @AfricanParksNetwork 
Lions are roaring in Liwonde National Park in Malawi after deca" - 1888119723599354059
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@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto @AfricanParksNetwork Lions are roaring in Liwonde National Park in Malawi after decades of being extinct thanks to the work of @AfricanParksNetwork , the Malawian Government, @LionRecovery , @leonardodicapriofdn and @leonardodicaprio Liwonde National Park was recently on the verge of collapse just 3 years ago -the park was overrun with poaching and more wire snares existed in the park than large animals. But in 2015, @AfricanParksNetwork assumed management of the park on behalf of the Government, and immediately got to work training and outfitting their Ranger unit, preventing poaching, removing almost 30,000 snares, and making the park safe for nature's return. In 2017 they reintroduced cheetahs, and just as of August 16th, they reintroduced lions to restore this iconic species to the park, and help balance natural systems by bringing back critically needed predators. This population is expected to triple in the next few years - and will be supplemented with individuals from other parks African Parks manages in Malawi to ensure for a healthy genepool - as well as help with tourism to the park, benefiting the surrounding local communities. There are fewer than 20,000 lions left in Africa, down from 200,000 just 100 years ago - and their long-term future remains in question: they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, lack of prey, unsustainable hunting and now poaching for their skins, bones, claws and other body parts. But projects like these show how with determination, political will, community support, and simply envisioning a better future, we can bring this species back as well as protect our last wild landscapes, benefiting both wildlife and people, and creating a better existence for all. To learn more about this project and other inspiring conservation stories from across Africa, please follow @AfricanParksNetwork @LionRecovery @leonardodicapriofdn and @leonardodicaprio

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto 
If you are in San Antonio this Sunday please come to the Tobin Center for the Perfor" - 1885017327977577586
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@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto If you are in San Antonio this Sunday please come to the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts at 4PM for my Nat Geo LIVE presentation “On the Trail of Big Cats" In the end the lioness ended up with the impala @africanparksnetwork @Zakouma_National_Park Just 100 years ago there may have been as many as 500,000 lions which roamed the African continent but today there it is estimated that as few as 16,000 - 30,000 remain, and research by lion biologist Hans Bauer and colleagues suggests lions in much of west, east and central Africa will decline by 50% in the next two decades if something dramatic is not done! The biggest threats facing lions in Africa are poaching of their prey and retaliatory killings by farmers when lions eat their cattle! There is also an emerging threat of lions being used in Chinese medicine as tigers become rarer. @wildaid "When the buying stops the killing can too” Poisonings and poaching are the main threats to lions across their East African range. Most lion populations in East, Central and West Africa are declining so the time to act is now. There are fewer than 20,000 lions left in Africa, down from 200,000 just 100 years ago - and their long-term future remains in question: they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, lack of prey, unsustainable hunting and now poaching for their skins, bones, claws and other body parts. But projects like these show how with determination, political will, community support, and simply envisioning a better future, we can bring this species back as well as protect our last wild landscapes, benefiting both wildlife and people, and creating a better existence for all. To learn more about this project and other inspiring conservation stories from across Africa, please follow @africanparksnetwork me @stevewinterphoto to see more images from my work with @natgeo and Thanks!! @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @natgeochannel @natgeowild @thephotosociety @africanparksnetwork

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@stevewinterphoto @natgeo @africanparksnetwork

Guards that are coming back from their 12 days in the field, protecting " - 1884287889027411649
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@stevewinterphoto @natgeo @africanparksnetwork Guards that are coming back from their 12 days in the field, protecting the park, meeting their friends or neighbors or family members that are also guards – getting ready to head out to the field. Communities protecting their park and all the animals!!! Zakouma National Park in Chad is one of the most remarkable stories about transformation. In 2010, African Parks, on invitation by the Chadian Government, signed a long-term agreement to manage Zakouma and stop the bloodshed. Our first step was to overhaul law enforcement, but it wasn’t for the faint of heart. In 2012, six of our rangers were gunned down execution-style during their morning prayers. But our rangers, with their indomitable spirits, didn’t give up. Because of their efforts and effective community work, only 24 known elephants have been lost to poaching since 2010. Along with providing law enforcement, we built ‘Elephant Schools’ for local communities, providing desks, blackboards and teachers’ salaries, helping more than 1,500 children get an education. We built airstrips, and VHF radios were installed so community members could contact our control room with information about any illegal activity. People were employed to help manage the park, making Zakouma one of the largest employers in the region. With law enforced and security reclaimed, tourists began to visit, delivering needed revenue back to the park and local communities. And then something miraculous happened. Elephants were able to be elephants once again, and for the first time in years, they began to breed and could raise their young. In early 2017, we counted 81 calves under the age of three. In 2011, we counted one. Elephants have now surpassed 527 individuals and are on the rise for the first time in a decade. We’ve come a long way since 2010. The story of Zakouma is of a park rising from the ashes and becoming an unlikely tale of redemption, for people and animals alike. Our work in Zakouma would not be possible without the support of our partners: The Republic of Chad, the EU, Foundation Segré and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to name a few.

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo @stevewinterphoto @africanparksnetwork
I need some cute today!
The Cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth a" - 1883697816740932180
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@natgeo @stevewinterphoto @africanparksnetwork I need some cute today! The Cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth and Africa’s most endangered cat. Cheetahs purr like house cats - which is one reason they are under threat, as the cubs are either captured or raised in captivity to be sold as pets to the very wealthy, though only one in six survive the journey to their new prison. As with all big cats the number one reason for their decline is habitat loss, then comes human wildlife conflict where livestock owners kill predators in revenge killings if the predator kills their livestock. Finally comes the illegal wildlife trade, the pet trade is hitting cheetahs hard as is the trade in their skins and bones. New research led by Sarah Durant and colleagues suggests there may be as few as ~7100 cheetahs left in Africa, and that if their populations are to survive, they need good protection inside national parks to offset losses in community areas where they clash with farmers! This is a similar emotion that we as humans feel. Our animal family is so much like us - they find mates, they have kids, they have to feed themselves and their families, they feed themselves and their families in the same way we as humans used to! If we can find a way to believe they think, feel and have emotions, maybe we can treat them better and find a way to ensure their future on this planet. They are keystone species in their ecosystems, though we as humans are not. Follow me @stevewinterphoto @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @nglive @ngwild @thephotosociety @africanparksnetwork @leonardodicaprioldf @sanctuaryasia

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto 
If you are in San Antonio this Sunday please come to the Tobin Center for the Perfor" - 1882963611291670592
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@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto If you are in San Antonio this Sunday please come to the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts at 4PM for my Nat Geo LIVE presentation “On the Trail of Big Cats" Here is a mom and her cubs in the @africanparksnetwork @Zakouma_National_Park Just 100 years ago there may have been as many as 500,000 lions which roamed the African continent but today there it is estimated that as few as 16,000 - 30,000 remain, and research by lion biologist Hans Bauer and colleagues suggests lions in much of west, east and central Africa will decline by 50% in the next two decades if something dramatic is not done! The biggest threats facing lions in Africa are poaching of their prey and retaliatory killings by farmers when lions eat their cattle! There is also an emerging threat of lions being used in Chinese medicine as tigers become rarer. @wildaid "When the buying stops the killing can too” Poisonings and poaching are the main threats to lions across their East African range. Most lion populations in East, Central and West Africa are declining so the time to act is now. There are fewer than 20,000 lions left in Africa, down from 200,000 just 100 years ago - and their long-term future remains in question: they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, lack of prey, unsustainable hunting and now poaching for their skins, bones, claws and other body parts. But projects like these show how with determination, political will, community support, and simply envisioning a better future, we can bring this species back as well as protect our last wild landscapes, benefiting both wildlife and people, and creating a better existence for all. To learn more about this project and other inspiring conservation stories from across Africa, please follow @africanparksnetwork me @stevewinterphoto to see more images from my work with @natgeo and Thanks!! @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @natgeochannel @natgeowild @thephotosociety @africanparksnetwork

 image by Steve Winter (@stevewinterphoto) with caption : "@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto August 2018

Here is a mom and her cub along the bank of a river. @naturalworldsafari" - 1882858164492443090
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@natgeo photo by @stevewinterphoto August 2018 Here is a mom and her cub along the bank of a river. @naturalworldsafaris. Not too long ago an image with mom and cubs or just a jaguar cub was impossible to see. This animal behavior is so similar in many ways to us as humans! Cleaning and protecting their young! Our animal family is so much like us - they find mates, they have kids, they have to feed themselves and their families. If we can find a way to believe they think, feel and have emotions, we need to treat them better and find a way to ensure their future on this planet. They are keystone species in their ecosystems, though we as humans are not. My @natgeo jaguar story came out in this December 2017 issue of National Geographic Magazine! and LOOK for our @NatGeowild Big Cat Week show which premiers on Dec 10th @ 9PM, filmed with the amazing @bertiegregory. Jaguars are the 3rd largest of the big cats. Found from US / Mexico border to northern Argentina. Jaguars have rebounded in this area where 95% of the land is privately owned. In the past many ranchers would kill the cats when they ate their cattle. Today in this area tourism brings in much more money to the local economy than cattle ranching. So the jaguar population is increasing. But revenge killings of jaguars happen close to this area and all throughout the jaguars range. Also poaching for skins, bones and teeth is growing for the first time since the 1970’s to feed the demand for people who think they receive the “power of the jaguar through their teeth”, Chinese Traditional Medicine and now Luxury items from endangered species. “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” @wildaid @bertiegregory My first story with big cats was the 1st @natgeo Jaguar story 20 years ago! It has changed my life working with the magical and magnificent cats of the world. Animals have emotions just like we have. Follow me @stevewinterphoto to see more images and THANKS! @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @nglive @natgeochannel @NatGeowild @thephotosociety @africanparksnetwork @jaguar @pantanalsafaris @refugioecologicocaiman