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Photographing Invasive Species

Updated on February 7, 2014
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source

Almost every single ecosystem has many invasive species. Nature is full of species that are meant to reside in one part of the world but not on another and somehow it seems that they always find their way to other parts of an ecosystem or even a completely different part of the world.

Nature photography involves recording images of animals, plants, landscapes ecosystems and it can also be dedicated to a single specimen or a single variety. This theme involves recording images which are considered invasive to a particular part of a region, even the surrounding seas around a country.

The technique should not be hard to complete since a research plan involving what specific animals and plants which are considered invasive to a region can probably yield many good examples and even their general locations.

A good path to follow would also be to compliment the images with an article depicting the several species, their origins, how they arrived to the region, what efforts are being undertaken to control or eradicate them, the damage that they can inflict upon the local environment and so on.

Afterwards, once the project is completed you should submit it to the many photographic publications and the many nature magazines which are currently in the market. A good image/article combination is bound to get noticed by publishers.

The images can also be easily submitted to any of the many photography stock houses. However, keep in mind that the images must be of exceptional quality and technically perfect since nature photography is a very difficult turf or medium to break into and there are many really good photographers who do nothing all day but to take photographs with a nature theme and are widely recognized for their work.

You can concentrate your efforts on only animal species or only plant species or a combination. But better to do one genre at a time therefore building three or more photographic projects instead of just one.

Record images in various formats; close ups, long shots, wide ones. Include the species by themselves, in groups, matting behaviors, feeding habits and any other behavior which they exhibit. Also record images of the native species to correlate and compare both and the damage and effects that one has upon the other.

You are not trying to incite people into going out there and start shooting every single invasive species which they happen to come upon but rather to provide some useful information, educate enough so that this will alert the public into the dangers of importing non native exotic species and what happens when they get too big or burdensome or through an act of nature, like a hurricane, escape or are subsequently released into an unprepared ecosystem which is ill fit to deal with the new residents.

Such has been the case in Florida with the damage that the release of non native has caused such as pythons and boas into the Everglades where they have been reproducing at an alarming rate and quickly threatening the many local species with very few exceptions, not to mention the terror that they have inflicted upon the household pet population and the danger that they pose to any small child.

However, some invasive species can only be described as truly beautiful such as the various macaws and parakeets that now call South Florida home. But nevertheless they are still non native. Make the most of any similar photogenic species and even thought you may end up falling in love with them, remember they are not meant to be here.

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. | Source
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. | Source

Since your focus is to record images not to harm them or interfere in any way, if you feel the need to assist the authorities and help your local ecosystem, do take careful notes of the locations and any special details that are associated with any invasive species which you photograph.

You can at a later time report you findings to the local authorities for them to take whatever steps they feel necessary and most can use the extra pair of eyes and resources which you can provide while practicing photography at the same time.

Conduct a thorough research and become acclimated with the species habits and also be aware of any possible dangers that they can bring upon you.

Take with you a variety of lenses especially telephotos which will prove crucial in keeping you safe while allowing you to capture those important photographs.

For plant species there are also several facts with which you should be aware of such as their possible allergic or caustic causing elements.

Take some emergency medications such as poison ivy ointments and antihistamine when conducting your subject search. Always keep your local posing control and emergency numbers in hand which is a good idea to follow anytime that you venture into the natural environment.


© 2011 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Cardisa: Thank you, just another photo project in the long list of many

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      Flora you surprised me with that statement! Can you imagine how I feel being misplaced from my homeland? At least my ancestors were, but I am still confused a little. I am the offspring of Africans, indentured Indian laborers and some whites who raped our women.

      Well Luis I love nature but there are some animals that are pests, but don't mind the invasion much, unless they invade my home.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      In a way, white people were the invasive "species" in North America invading Native Americans and Canadians. I can just see people taking natural law into their own hands. People can be quite disgusting. where I live, there are plenty of squirrels who aren't native here.

      None of the species you include have I seen in person.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      homesteadbound: Thank you, Florida's problems with invasive species seems to be getting worst from boas,lion-fish,cane toad, giant snails, parrots, several plant species, the native environment is facing a tough road ahead

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

      I loved the picture of the cane toad! Invasive species can be a real problem and plants can be just as bad as animals.


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