Branimir Gjetvaj photography

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Biodiversity in Saskatchewan

Mountains of Canada
Atlantic Canada
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Biodiversity hotspots in Sask
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Biodiversity hotspots in Saskatchewan

pointer Jump directly to the gallery with sample images from the project Biodiversity hotspots in Saskatchewan

The United Nations declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity, to increase understanding of the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on Earth. Many activities and events took place in countries around the world, with a goal to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity to human well-being. Biodiversity is a concept used to describe and understand nature as a network made up of many species. The term biodiversity became widely used in late 1980s, with an increased concern over the loss of organisms, communities, and entire ecosystems.

In late 2009 I gave myself an assignment to document biodiversity hot-spots in Saskatchewan, the province where I currently live. To choose the best photography locations for this project, I searched for areas with high level of threatened and rare native species. A set of Conservation Blueprint documents, developed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, was a great tool in learning about natural habitats that are in highest need of protection. One of the NCC Conservation Blueprints was developed specifically for Canada's Prairies and Parklands.

Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area

The Nature Conservancy of Canada conserves important natural landscapes through securing conservation easements, land donations or purchases, and other creative stewardship strategies. Since 1962, the NCC has helped to conserve two million acres (810,000 hectares) of ecologically significant land involving over 1,800 properties across Canada.

After a consultation with the NCC staff, I decided to focus my photography efforts on areas protected by NCC though land donations or direct purchase. Last year I photographed over a dozen properties. My favourites are Big Valley, a 550 acre (220 hectare) property in Qu'Appelle River Valley, and the 13,100 acre (5,300 hectare) Old Man on His Back Prairie and Heritage Conservation Area near Eastend.

While searching for the best way to include unique and high-quality images of local plants and animals for this project, I discovered a group of like-minded photographers who joined forces to work together on the Meet Your Neighbours (MYN) initiative. MYN is a photography project that aims to connect people with flora and fauna in their neighbourhoods that is often overlooked. The basic idea is to show that common species matter, and that they have a very important role in protecting biodiversity.

Three-flowered avens (plant)

All of the images are taken on location using a portable field studio. In line with the conservation photographers creed, disturbance to subjects is kept to absolute minimum. A distinctive photographic style, including a brilliantly-lit white background, produces unique imagery. I am hoping to photograph a variety of plant and animal species using this technique.

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Last modified:
4 December, 2011