Wildlife in Wild Lands, Photography for Conservation in Southern South America is a visually stunning book, but it’s far more than that: This is a passionate conservationist’s call to action on behalf of a continent’s endangered natural resources.
Since 2011, Laura Crawford Williams and her associate German Ambrosetti have traveled over 250,000 miles through Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile photographing rare animal species. Along the way, Williams documented almost every creature with fur, skin, fins and feathers residing in southern South America. This book was born of that effort.
Wildlife in Wild Lands is organized into six sections: Rainforests and Wetlands, Andean Patagonia, Grasslands and Seasonal Wetlands, Costal Patagonia, Deserts and Dry Lands, Forests and Streams. Each includes photographs of wildlife living within these ecosystems. Captions in English and Spanish describe the animal’s habits and environment, adding small colored labels— red (critical), orange (high risk) or yellow (vulnerable)— if the animal is endangered.
Williams’s images are extraordinarily sensitive and beautiful: a Black-and-Gold Howler Monkey lounging on a branch amidst pink Lapacho Tree blossoms; a Jabiru flying across a full moon; a Puma resting in a shallow cave. But it’s also a passionate plea for conservation—from the foreword, “Toward A New Era of National Parks,” written by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, to Williams’s closing essay, “What can I do to help?”
In the book’s final pages, Williams includes a candid and informative behind-the-scenes look at she and Ambrosetti’s adventures while producing the work presented here.
“My passion isn’t only for taking pictures,” Williams writes in her Introduction. “…I work to inspire intellectual curiosity as well. Success comes when I am able to infect others with the same excitement, amusement, and awe that I feel when working with wildlife.”
In this offering, Williams has successfully shared her love and concern for South America’s wildlife and wild country. Every page of this superb book evokes emotion and thoughts of beauty—and, sadly, the potential for its loss.