National Geographic : 2010 May
' 69 photographers, 46 countries, 15 months, one mission: to celebrate wildlife and wild places on a continent more famous for monuments to human ingenuity---cities, railways, cafés--- than for nature preservation. Yet as Staffan Widstrand, one of the project's directors, observes, "Wildlife is coming back because of changes in policy and lifestyles. Almost 20 percent of Europe is now under some form of protection, and there's a huge shift under way as Europeans abandon family farms for cities. So wildlife is actually gaining ground and becoming a more vital part of the European experience." This sampling of photographs proves his point. Along with thousands of others, they are the culmination of Wild Wonders of Europe, a photographic expedition to the wild heart of a civilized continent. ---Don Belt n Society Grant This project was supported by members of the National Geographic Society through its Mission Programs. Learn more, and view additional photographs, at ngm.com and wild-wonders.com.