Oct 13, 2023
A Dozen Inspiring Conservation Photographers

Bringing talent and passion together for mountain lion conservation

Our 2024 calendar features work by photographers who have gone to great lengths to capture these exquisite images.

Waiting deep in the backcountry hours before dawn. Studiously setting up motion-activated cameras. Coming out empty-handed on countless trips. Trying again.

The Mountain Lion Foundation deeply appreciates their perseverance. We also appreciate that all of these photographers are dedicated to pushing for strong protections for mountain lions and their habitat.

Read on to learn more about the 12 photographers featured and contribute today to receive our 2024 calendar and enjoy their work all year long.

Puma in Patagonia. Photo: Melissa Groo

Wildlife photographer, writer and conservationist Melissa Groo is passionate about educating people about the marvels of the natural world. She believes photography can be both fine art and a powerful vehicle for storytelling; it is her mission to raise awareness and change minds about not only the extrinsic beauty of animals, but also their intrinsic worth. A photo by Groo graces our cover. See more from Melissa Groo.

Mountain lion in Wyoming. Photo: Savannah Rose

Savannah Rose is pursuing her dream of working as a conservation photographer, spending every free moment producing wildlife images. Her favorite subjects are America’s apex predators, such as grizzly bears, cougars, and wolves, as well as the more elusive charismatic mammals, like weasels and pikas. Savannah’s experience as a wildlife tracker gives her a helpful edge, as she can accurately anticipate behavior and share habitat non-obtrusively. See more from Savannah Rose.

For the incredible story behind the image of hers featured, attend our next our Living with Lions webinar on October 18, 2023.

A firm believer in the power of stories to shape public opinion, Amy Gulick uses her images and words to make the case for life on Earth. Her award-winning books include Salmon in the Trees: Life in Alaska’s Tongass Rain Forest and The Salmon Way: An Alaska State of Mind. She is a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. See more from Amy Gulick.

Sebastian Kennerknecht is a wildlife and conservation photographer who focuses on wild cats. Using highly customized SLR camera traps, along with conventional photographic techniques, he works closely with field biologists to effectively and ethically capture photographs of some of the rarest cats on the planet and highlight the threats they face. The rest of the year Sebastian leads international tours to bring people eye to eye with wild cats, including mountain lions, through his company Cat Expeditions. See more from Sebastian Kennerknecht.

Mountain lion near Los Angeles. Photo: Jason Klassi

Jason Klassi is an Emmy-nominated documentary producer and award-winning author. His productions have premiered on television, at the United Nations and at events around the world. NASA, the International Astronautical Congress and Paramount Pictures have published Jason’s writings. He is a recipient of the Space Tourism Society’s Orbit Award. He photographs mountain lions outside Los Angeles. See more from Jason Klassi.

Mountain lion in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Photo: Steven Gnam

Steven Gnam uses photography to explore and illuminate our connection to nature. His work is a celebration of the wild that encourages protecting our remaining wildlands. He is the author of Crown of the Continent: The Wildest Rockies. A member of The Photo Society, Steven’s work has been featured by National Geographic, The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Nikon and Patagonia, among others. See more from Steven Gnam. 

After spending 35 years working with the most advanced aerospace technologies, Dan Potter is now enjoying a retirement assignment of camera trapping mainly in northern Los Angeles County. Along with his support of the Mountain Lion Foundation, Dan also actively supports the Transition Habitat Conservancy, Tejon Ranch Conservancy and the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing.

You can see more of Dan’s camera trap imagery by following the Mountain Lion Foundation on Instagram.

David Willingham is a wildlife photographer, an avid bird watcher and recording engineer. His main photographic subjects are the flora, fauna and landscapes of Central Oregon. You can also find him taking photos at mountain bike races and skate parks.

Jeff Wirth is a conservation filmmaker, photographer and certified wildlife tracker. His strong love for the wilderness, animals, and social and environmental justice have led him to travel the world documenting inspiring stories of the environment and those fighting to protect it. He works and volunteers for organizations working toward a better world, using visual storytelling as his way to make a difference. See more from Jeff Wirth.

David Moskowitz works in the fields of photography, wildlife biology and education. He is the photographer and author of three books: Caribou Rainforest, Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest and Wolves in the Land of Salmon and co-author and photographer of Peterson’s Field Guide to North American Bird Nests. His work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the New York Times, NBC, Sierra, Outside, Science and High Country News. Certified through Cybertracker Conservation, David uses his technical expertise on tracking and other non-invasive methods of studying wildlife ecology to promote conservation. See more from David Moskowitz.

Roy Toft is an award-winning professional wildlife photographer and biologist whose images not only convey a sense of animal spirit but also grapple with changes to our natural world. As a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, Roy’s photographs have advanced conservation efforts globally. He is a co-author of Osa, Where the Rainforests Meets the Sea. His work has been featured by National Geographic, Audubon, Discover magazine and many others. Roy lives outside San Diego and leads annual expeditions through his company, Toft Photo Safaris. See more from Roy Toft.

Wildlife and natural history photographer Drew Rush is a regular contributor to the @natgeo and @natgeotravel Instagram feeds. Drew’s home base is in Wyoming and remote cameras are his specialty. Following wildlife has taken him across Asia, South America and North America, through deep forests and high alpine regions. See more from Drew Rush.

Improving the outlook for mountain lions in 2024

 As the Mountain Lion Foundation works across the sixteen states with mountain lions, assistance from our steadfast supporters makes all the difference. If you live in a Western state, please let us know if you are interested in advocating for the lions in your state. If you live in a state that mountain lions are resettling, you can help welcome them. Wherever you live you could pledge to give monthly and become a Puma Protector.

However you help, your investment improves the outlook for these majestic, integral animals. Thank you.

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