Defenders Magazine

Summer 2017

Volume 91, Issue 3


Polar Bears, © Thomas Cooper

“Just because you want the image doesn’t mean you’ll get it.” Wise words from photographer Thomas Cooper, but in this case, it seems he did get the image he wanted. Cooper traveled via plane, train and snow buggy to arrive at Canada’s Wapusk National Park, home to the most southern population of polar bears in the world. Wapusk is said to be one of the best places to photograph cubs with their mothers. After extensively researching every detail of the trip, from appropriate cold weather gear to breathing techniques to avoid fogging up his camera viewfinder, Cooper was fully prepared to take on the tundra. He says he was lucky to be able to find this mama and her cubs nestled together and framed by spruce trees. The angle of this shot doesn’t show it, but there actually are two cubs, one snuggling behind the other. According to Cooper, the temperature that day was 25 degrees F below zero, so it’s no wonder the cubs were snuggling tight.


Hoary bat, © Michael Durham/Minden Pictures/National Geographic Creative (captive)
‘Solutions within reach’ for migrating hoary bats
Defenders calls on FWS to do right by jaguars
California Condors, © Loi Nguyen
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to the California condor bald is not only beautiful—it’s practical.