Saving nature through photography

Is it only the beauty of nature that makes a beautiful photo-tale? The answer may be a ‘Yes’. But for a conservation photographer, a shot of nature conveys a thousand untold tales: the tales of beauty assorted with its day-to-day survival in the wild threatened by human activity and climatic turbulence.
A video shared by Environment Society Oman (ESO) on social media recently shows how a humpback whale, an endangered species, is trying to wriggle out of a fishing net in which it has got entangled.
Such incidents — leaving fishing nets in the open sea – pose a threat to nature.
ESO has not only launched a drive to plant 7,500 native trees in Dhofar and working on safeguarding some of the ESO-listed endangered species such as Loggerhead turtles, Sea Humpback Whales and Egyptian Vultures, but is also inviting wildlife photographers to showcase their habitat to society through various platforms.
Photography is the only medium through which attention can be drawn to their mute world,” said Yusra Jaffer, PR Manager of Environment Society of Oman.
“The efforts of conservation can appeal to the common man only if it is conveyed through a subtle message. Climate change has threatened the very survival of the species,” says Yusra.
The beauty of the Sultanate stretches to every nook and corner of the country — from Khwars to the coastal plains, from the most-rugged mountains to the green stretch of Dhofar Governorate.
They are home to thousands of rare species, including the Oryx, nesting Green turtles, loggerhead turtles, sooty falcons, Arabian Tahr, Nubian Ibex, European Roller, Indian Roller, Dhofarian Shrew, Arabian Leopard, Common Kestrel, Swift Tern, besides some marine life.
Even the most-treasured Frankincense trees add to the beauty of the Sultanate.
“We are in the process of conducting a research on the species in Oman in order to gain knowledge for the conservation programmes and actions to be put in place,” Yusra said.
Wildlife and nature photography, besides throwing light on the human encroachment leading to their dwindling number, also focus on the beauty of these species.
From pollution and fragmentation to poaching and habitat loss, photographs illustrate the value of preserving the ecosystem.
“Conservation photography is a vast field. It is not only restricted to one area/ species because the entire ecosystem faces threat due to various factors. Conservation photography does just: narrates the sad tale and shows the beauty around that has been disturbed,” said Nasser al Kindi, the founder and volunteer of Clean-Up Oman and Wildlife Documentarian.
In the heart of the city of Muscat lies the pristine Qurum Nature Reserve, a narrow lagoon with lush-green shrubs and trees.
“It is a must-go place for birdwatchers. Photographers love to flock to this place with all their paraphernalia to capture the beautiful birds in the eye of their camera,” says Srinivasan, a photographer based in Oman.
The existence of similar reserves, including Ras Al Jinz, Jabal Samhan Nature Reserve, Damaniyat islands, etc., calls for missions to protect nature and wildlife.
Photographers believe in shooting not only the beauty of nature but also shielding the rare species from threats, both natural and human.

SWATI BASU DAS