I got in the habit of using some of the photos from my vacation this past February as backgrounds and thought I might as well share them. These images are 1920x1200px and are free for personal and commercial use – no attribution required. However, if you do alter the images, I’d love to see your work! Download the images you want individually or get them all (ZIP).
These are sad and perilous days for the world’s largest land animal. Once elephants roamed the Earth like waterless whales, plying ancient migratory routes ingrained in their prodigious memories. Now they’ve been backed into increasingly fragmented territories. When not being killed for their tusks or for bush meat, they are struggling against loss of habitat due to human population pressures and drought. A 1979 survey of African elephants estimated a population of about 1.3 million. About 500,000 remain. In Asia an estimated 40,000 are left in the wild. And yet even as the elephant population dwindles, the number of human-elephant conflicts rises. In Africa, reports of elephants and villagers coming into conflict with each other appear almost daily.
- Excerpt from Orphans No More, by Charles Siebert – National Geographic, September 2011.
- Photograph by Michael Nichols.