Through stunning imagery and firsthand experience, Daisy Gilardini highlights the devastating effects of climate change on our planet’s wildlife and importance of preserving our planet’s delicate ecosystems.
What inspired you to be a wildlife photographer?
I started photography pushed by the desire to spend time in the wilderness capturing the aesthetic beauty of wild animals. I soon realized though that these animals and their ecosystems face unprecedented challenges and need help.
Photography is not just an art form. It’s one of the most powerful and important mediums of communication we have. It’s a universal language, and is understood by everyone, regardless of colour, creed, nationality, and culture.
What impact are you hoping to achieve through your photography?
I have always felt that my goal is to encourage people to reconnect with Mother Nature through photography. By using striking images, I’m trying to engage their emotions and feelings of empathy in a way that may eventually encourage them to change their day-to-day behaviour and how they look at the world. The more engaged we are, the more likely we are to be prompted to action.
Which areas and wildlife do you enjoy photographing the most? What makes them so special to you?
When people ask me what I do I say I photograph penguins and bears.
My philosophy in life is live your dreams and follow your heart. Specializing, focusing on a particular subject, is not a choice. It’s a question of doing what you’re most passionate about.
I’ve been blessed to visit the polar regions several times during the last 25 years and document the changes that are happening there.
The two poles are opposites in many ways. They’re similar and yet are drastically different, too. The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land. Antarctica is a continent surrounded by sea.
How has the Antarctic landscape changed over the years? Has climate change had an effect on the wildlife and ecosystem?
In Antarctica the changes observed over the past 25 years include:
- more precipitation in the form of snow, due to more evaporation. This translates into delays in the reproduction cycle of the penguins, as they need pebbles to build their nests
- decreasing penguin species (chinstraps and Adélies), while some species are thriving (gentoos)
- higher temperatures and more rainy days during the summer months
- new plant species
Meanwhile, in the Arctic, the entire region is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world.
- Sea-ice cover reached its annual summer minimum on Sept. 15th last year, the, second-smallest cover recorded.
- Arctic sea ice is shrinking not only in area but in thickness as well.
- This affects not only the ecosystem (polar bears, whales, krill, etc.) but also indigenous communities.
Why is conservation so important? And what can Canadians do to help our wildlife thrive?
In 2019 scientists announced the shocking news that one species in eight is in danger of extinction. When we talk about conservation, we’re no longer just acting on behalf of other species. We are affecting our planet at a point that it is becoming inhospitable even for humans.
Beside the obvious actions to protect species and their habitat by polluting less and saving energy (Reuse, Recycle, Reduce), support politician and organization sensitive to these problems, educate yourself, raise your voice.