National Geographic Magazine’s April 2016 Issue Features 10 Different Covers for the First Time in Publication’s History

Documenting the World’s Animals, One Picture at a Time.

Multiple Covers Celebrate Photographer Joel Sartore’s “Photo Ark” Project

In a publishing first for National Geographic magazine, the April 2016 issue has 10 different covers featuring the work of well-known National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. U.S. subscribers will receive one of the covers at random in their homes, and print newsstands similarly will offer a selection of the covers.

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©National Geographic Top row, from left: waxy monkey tree frog, hippopotamus, Reimann’s snake-necked turtle, snowy owl, Malayan tiger. Bottom row, from left: Brazilian porcupine, southern three-banded armadillo, Indian peafowl, mother and baby koalas, Coquerel’s sifaka.

The April covers highlight the National Geographic Photo Ark project, a multiyear effort with Sartore to photograph all captive species and inspire people to save these animals before they disappear. For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Species are disappearing at an alarming rate. To motivate people to care and help stop the crisis, Sartore is creating intimate portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. To date, he has photographed nearly 6,000 animals. Once completed, Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them. 

(National Geographic magazine’s “Every Last One” feature (April 2016 cover story):http://on.natgeo.com/1WkPr6h)

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Greenbottle blue tarantula, Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska

Greenbottle blue tarantula, Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska

The 10 published covers feature portraits of the following animals: waxy monkey tree frog, hippopotamus, Reimann’s snake-necked turtle, snowy owl, Malayan tiger, Brazilian porcupine, southern three-banded armadillo, Indian peafowl, mother and baby koalas, and Coquerel’s sifaka. Sartore shot the cover images at a number of locations, including Rolling Hills Zoo, the San Antonio Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Raptor Recovery Nebraska, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, the Saint Louis Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the Houston Zoo.

Bat star, Patiria miniata, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Bat star, Patiria miniata, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Blue-spotted emperor butterfly, Charaxes cithaeron, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Blue-spotted emperor butterfly, Charaxes cithaeron, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Chinese flying frog, Rhacophorus dennysi, Phoenix Zoo

Chinese Flying Frog,mRhacophorus dennysi, Phoenix Zoo

Chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky

Chinstrap penguin, Pygoscelis antarctica, Newport Aquarium, Kentucky

Pink-sided tree frog, Agalychnis litodryas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Pink-sided tree frog, Agalychnis litodryas, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador

Roanoke logperch, Percina rex, Conservation Fisheries, Inc., Tennessee

Roanoke logperch, Percina rex, Conservation Fisheries, Inc., Tennessee

Sand cat, Felis margarita, Chattanooga Zoo

Sand cat, Felis margarita, Chattanooga Zoo

Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, Dallas Zoo

Eastern subterranean termite, Reticulitermes flavipes, Dallas Zoo

With so many animals to choose from, the magazine staff had a difficult time selecting the 10 to use on the covers.

Fennec Fox The smallest foxes in the world have enormous ears to cool them down as they traverse sand dunes in the Sahara, where they are common. Their cuteness makes them attractive to the wild-pet trade.  2

Fennec Fox The smallest foxes in the world have enormous ears to cool them down as they traverse sand dunes in the Sahara, where they are common. Their cuteness makes them attractive to the wild-pet trade.

We wanted species diversity, from the charismatic and cute to the often overlooked. A mix of engaging characters that started to hint at the scale of Joel’s project was key,” says Susan Goldberg, National Geographic Partners editorial director and National Geographic magazine editor in chief.

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African White-Bellied Tree Pangolin A baby hitches a ride on its mother at Pangolin Conservation, a nonprofit organization in St. Augustine, Florida. The mammals are illegally killed for bush meat and their scales, which are claimed to have medical value.

Adds Emmet Smith, National Geographic Partners creative director: “Eye contact was key, as one of the hallmarks of the Photo Ark is creating a direct connection between the viewer and the animal.

Naked Mole Rat

Naked Mole Rat This species of rodent, the first animal to be photographed for Photo Ark, thrives in large underground colonies in arid parts of East Africa.

Published alongside the story is an extensive photo gallery of Sartore’s portraits and a new interactive that asks readers questions to allow them to discover which of the 10 cover animals they are most like. The “What Animal Is Most Like You?” quiz will feature questions such as, “Do you like warm weather, or snow? Are you a night owl or do you just like to sleep all the time?” The quiz, which will be published at www.natgeo.com/animalquiz, will let readers find out what animal most closely matches their own behavior while learning about the species on the covers. At the end of the quiz, readers can choose to download their animal’s wallpaper.

Panamanian golden frog, Atelopus zeteki, Miller Park Zoo, Illinois

Panamanian golden frog, Atelopus zeteki, Miller Park Zoo, Illinois

Panther chameleon, Furcifer pardalis, Dallas World Aquarium

Panther chameleon, Furcifer pardalis, Dallas World Aquarium

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Northern White Rhinoceros This female named Nabiré was one of the last of her subspecies. She died last summer, a week after this photograph was taken. A few months later another northern white rhino died, leaving only three.

American flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska

American flamingo, Phoenicopterus ruber, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, Nebraska

Consumers are asked to call 1-800-777-2800 FREE (813-979-6828 outside the U.S./Canada) to purchase their favorite animal cover if they did not receive the cover they like best.

All Images, of course, by Joe Sartore.

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