Two gray wolves chase a small group of American elk. The atmospheric lighting at the end of the day illuminates the dramatic narrative of this winter snow scene. The low light casts a long shadow ahead of the lead wolf.
Dappled light illuminating an animal track my heart beats faster as a lynx pads into view. This experience would have been possible were it not for the accumulative effect of humanoids on the world's biodiversity. I know there is much debate surrounding the reintroduction of the larger apex predators. Here in the United Kingdom the countryside is vastly altered and such steps would need careful consideration and preparation. However it is my belief that controversial ideas should be debated as it can no longer be considered enough to simply conserve what we have. The United Kingdom is the most biodiversity depleted land in Europe and we have for decades failed to stop the decline. I'm not saying this as a so-called "bunny-hugger" or "Townie" I have spent my life in the countryside observing fauna and flora. It is my livelihood, working as a wildlife artist I have witnessed the decline first-hand. My passion for nature began at an early age and I naively thought that all the animal species I read about would be there for me to explore for the rest of my lifetime. How wrong! It saddens me greatly to walk through a landscape depleted of so much. Amazingly complex natural ecosystems are a wonder and help sustain the richness of the planet. I mourn the disappearance of animals, birds and flora that have become critically scarce in my neighbourhood. Many species have already vanished entirely. This is happening throughout the world at an alarming rate. What is needed are largescale projects where we actually support and increase biodiversity. I believe that marginal land should be rewilded on a massive scale.
I strive to create settings and atmospheres that enhance my animal subjects. Something as evocative as the howl of a wolf needed a moody landscape. The skeletal trunks of lodgepoles in the mist echoed the turning of the wolf's head to the sky. Will the wolf's howl be answered? It is more than ever a question that will be decided not by a wolf but by mankind! Yes there is conflict around the subject of wolves, but if they cease to exist I for one would find the world a lonelier place even as the human population expands.