A new book by photographer David Gulden documents the richness of Kenyan wildlife, but warns that the mounting threats posed by poaching and habitat loss risk losing the fierce beauty of both the animals and the African plains.
Gulden has spent the last 20 years in Africa photographing wildlife, endeavouring not just to create appealing artworks but to document declining animal populations and shrinking landscapes.
The new book, Nor Dread, Nor Hope Attend: Photographs From the Plains of Africa, features 66 black and white photographs that reflect this commitment to relaying the truth of the impacts of loss.
Gulden told The Independent: "The world is facing challenges of an unprecedented nature, and our response must be urgent and unified.
“I welcome The Independent's Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign, which is shining a light on one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, the health of our planet and to the very future of humankind.
“Only by tackling the illegal trade of wildlife and taking greater care of flora and fauna can we secure their future. We must act now – for people and our planet.”
Our Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade campaign seeks to protect wildlife at risk from poachers and to clamp down on the illegal trade of wild animals.
We are working with conservation charity Space for Giants to protect wildlife at risk from poachers and to support wildlife rangers, local communities and law enforcement personnel to prevent wildlife crime.
The book also features an essay from Kenyan paleo-anthropologist and conservationist Richard E Leakey, stressing the importance of mindful management of land, and warning of the very real danger that the animals held within the frame of Gulden's photographs may soon disappear.
"Can there be a future for wildlife under these circumstances? I am not optimistic,” writes Mr Leakey. “Environmental awareness is so much more than elephants, hedgehogs, and vultures; it’s more than national parks.
“The biologists, ecologists, and other scientific experts must be encouraged and facilitated in finding long-term solutions.”